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More Love, Less Fear

First Reading: 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12

When the time of David’s death drew near,
he gave these instructions to his son Solomon:
“I am going the way of all flesh.
Take courage and be a man.
Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways
and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees
as they are written in the law of Moses,
that you may succeed in whatever you do,
wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill
the promise he made on my behalf when he said,
‘If your sons so conduct themselves
that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart
and with their whole soul,
you shall always have someone of your line
on the throne of Israel.’”

David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.
The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years:
he reigned seven years in Hebron
and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.

Solomon was seated on the throne of his father David,
with his sovereignty firmly established.

Responsorial Psalm: 1 Chronicles 29:10, 11AB, 11D-12A, 12BCD

R. (12b) Lord, you are exalted over all.
“Blessed may you be, O LORD,
God of Israel our father,
from eternity to eternity.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power,
majesty, splendor, and glory.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“LORD, you are exalted over all.
Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty;
you are exalted as head over all.
Riches and honor are from you.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.
“In your hand are power and might;
it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.”
R. Lord, you are exalted over all.

Gospel: Mark 6:7-13

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.
He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick
–no food, no sack, no money in their belts.
They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.
He said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”
So they went off and preached repentance.
The Twelve drove out many demons,
and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

NAB

feb 4

I was sixteen years old when I carefully packed for my first trip abroad. Filled with nervous anticipation and excitement, I anxiously triple-checked my lists, ensuring I didn’t leave anything behind. Passport, cash, hairbrush, the “right” clothes . . . I wanted everything to be just so. It was as if the success of my sojourn somehow depended upon having the perfect stuff along for the ride.

Fast-forward a couple dozen years, and while I can’t recount the exact contents of my luggage, I can tell you all about fabulous meals, interesting people, and breath-taking vistas. In hindsight, the success of my experience wasn’t really about the things I brought with me; it was the encounters that mattered most.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus instructs His disciples to go forth without food, money, or any extras. In the months leading up to this point, the disciples have heard Jesus teach countless parables, witnessed Him heal the sick, and cast out demons. I can almost hear Jesus saying, “C’mon, guys. You don’t need all that stuff to represent Me. I’ve already given you everything you need!”

Sometimes I hesitate when God is calling me to be His light, thinking I don’t have what it takes. Oh, no, Lord, I say. I can’t talk to that person; I haven’t memorized the Bible or the Catechism! 

Encountering someone in Jesus’ name doesn’t have to be as complicated or intimidating as we often make it out to be. Remember the lyrics from the song, “They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love”? Well, it’s true! We don’t need a theology degree to share what Jesus has done in our lives. All it takes is a little love. We can express God’s love by simply sharing a cup of coffee and conversation, or bringing a meal to a sick neighbor, or mailing a card to a friend who is lonely.

Sometimes a little love can make a world of difference in someone’s life. Sisters, let’s decide to bring more love and less fear into the world today.

Lord Jesus, help us to trust that You provide everything we need to bring Your light into the world. Help us to get out of Your way, Lord, confident that Your perfect love casts out all fear. May everyone we meet know You because of the way we love them. Amen.

photo by Corynne Olivia

Heather Renshaw is a writer, speaker, and uplifter on a mission to love and serve God with her husband and five children in the Pacific NW. You can learn more about her here.

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