YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: TAKE NOTHING FOR THE JOURNEY
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Mk. 6:7-13) Thursday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus empowered and sent the apostles to proclaim the Good News and heal the sick to everyone. It is very interesting that He commanded not to bring things which a usual traveller brings. The apostles were told to practically just bring themselves and rely on families and communities who will accommodate them. The purpose is clear: Jesus wanted the apostles to rely and focus on proclaiming the Good News.
This is a response to those who believe that people must be provided incentives in order to be attentive to the Good News. They claim that it is hard to preach to an empty stomach. Well, it seems that the response of Jesus is for the preacher to also have an empty stomach. Preachers must not be blackmailed to provide material goods for spiritual goods to be accepted.
When we were children, there was a sect who enticed us to attend bible studies by fetching us with a bus and providing merienda after the teaching. We did not go whenever the bus do not arrive. Later, we got tired of attending. The ride and the merienda had lost their attraction. It was clear that we attended not to listen to the Good News but to the exciting bus ride and the merienda.
I was a catechist before. Our parish did not provide us with similar incentives for the children. Our creativity was challenged. I used music, good storytelling, and games to make the Good News be understood, exciting and relevant. I was relatively successful. I realized that the Good News is attractive enough. I realized that the Good News is the most important. It is the Good News which will save. It is the Good News that really matters.
Preachers should be aware that the mission is not about them but the Lord. Make the Word of God shine. See to it that they see the need for the Word. Let them realize that they need the Word and you are there to provide it in the Spirit Jesus wanted it. As John said, “He must increase. I must decrease!”