By Fr. Tim Knepper, C.PP.S.
As Missionaries of the Precious Blood, today’s Gospel is fitting for us. As missionaries there is a tension sometimes, not so much about what we do or who we are, but with how much stuff and how little stuff we should have. Years ago, when I was in formation, I heard stories from two different Community members who took totally different approaches on a mission trip. One took the maximum amount of luggage he was allowed, planning out every possible scenario, including a sewing kit, mosquito netting, every type of medication he could imagine possibly needing, and more. A different guy took just a toothbrush and a small knapsack.
This weekend’s Gospel invites us to see how we travel in life as missionaries. Jesus tells the disciples to travel lightly as they are sent on mission. Jesus emphasizes dependence on God to meet their needs. There’s a type of detachment here. Detachment is a spiritual practice in which we avoid relying on things, relationships, or other stuff that can hold us back from the work and the relationship God calls us into. In a world that tells us we need more and more stuff, more and more material things, detachment gives us a chance to think of what do we need to do the ministry in front of us and to be the people God calls us to be.
Our Precious Blood spirituality always calls us to freedom–true freedom from being stuck in getting more and more stuff or defining our worth in what we buy or accumulate. I once heard someone say, “We possess our possessions. Our possessions don’t possess us.” That’s a popup ad I need when I pull up Amazon, iTunes, or any other website that pulls me away from the detachment to things I’m called to as a disciple. What we have or buy doesn’t make us who we are. Who God calls us to be makes us who we are with our names written in heaven.
Fr. Tim Knepper, C.PP.S., recently completed an assignment the parochial vicar of the Catholic Community of Northwest Dayton, which includes Precious Blood, St. Rita and St. Paul Parishes.