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Go Open – Br. Luke Ditewig

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Br. Luke Ditewig

Mark 6:7-13

Jesus sent out disciples two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Jesus “ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.” Jesus sent them out with authority and in need, with power and weakness. They needed hospitality from those to whom they were sent. They had to receive and rely on others.

Jesus revealed God not as distant and self-reliant but vulnerable and personal, coming as a baby and dwelling by growing up, living closely with us. In his longest recorded personal conversation, at a well in Samaria, Jesus began by asking for a drink. He was thirsty and had no bucket. Jesus offered good news and connection with his own need.

Hospitality, offering radical welcome, is not only for us to give but essential for us to receive. We Brothers welcome many alongside us in the monastery each week, and this is God’s house. We are all guests receiving God’s sustenance. As a frequent host, it’s hard and healing when I choose to receive hospitality. Being reliant and cared for as a guest furthers my conversion.

Life in community reminds us of being guests. Living together, under God’s roof anywhere, reveals our wounds as much as our gifts, our needs as much as our abilities. As we say in our Rule of Life: “We are … called to accept with compassion and humility the particular fragility, complexity and incompleteness of each brother.”[i] We rely on one another’s gracious welcome to be helped, to have our feet washed, and continually to be converted.

To whom has God sent you to serve? Beware of going only with power, only to give. Like Jesus and his first disciples, go open also to receive. For salvation comes in through our need.


[i] The SSJE Rule of Life, Chapter 5: The Challenges of Life in Community

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6 Comments

  1. Christina McKerrow on February 28, 2019 at 08:25

    Brother Luke.
    Very hard to do. Raised Scottish background to be independent and not lean on others. Now, 84, no longer driving and less independent – it all makes life very challenging and it is hard to have to continually ‘ask’ others for help. I’m always conscious of the additional burden it puts on others’ busy lives. It is easier to give to others. Christina

  2. Jeanne DeFazio on February 28, 2019 at 08:11

    Your daily devotionals have provided for a deep need in my life! I need to hear the word and the comments. I send the Word out and am constantly amazed and grateful that others respond 🙏 so well!

    As the song said, People who need people are the luckiest.people in the world!

    This book s what I am sending out today:
    We are … called to accept with compassion and humility the particular fragility, complexity and incompleteness of each brother.”[i] We rely on one another’s gracious welcome to be helped, to have our feet washed, and continually to be converted.

    To whom has God sent you to serve? Beware of going only with power, only to give. Like Jesus and his first disciples, go open also to receive. For salvation comes in through our need.

    [i] The SSJE Rule of Life, Chapter 5: The Challenges of Life in Community

  3. Phyllis A. Marabeti on February 28, 2019 at 08:03

    ….yes, the incompleteness…but in the generosity of God, let us see the face of Jesus in the face of the next person we meet !

  4. Janet on February 28, 2019 at 07:21

    Sparse but brilliantly powerful! Your words spoke volumes Brother Luke. What a powerful reminder that our own vulnerability is an important aspect of our spiritual path. And that our relationships and communities are given to us by God. We all need each other in our own strengths and weaknesses. We are to heal and be healed in this beautiful kingdom that is here now. Your words are a powerful balm to my soul. Thank you!

  5. Beverly Cone on February 28, 2019 at 06:37

    Boy, is this true in a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Facility). Each person here has needs, including myself, and it helps so much to be there for others, and for others to be there for me, with kindness. It is a true bonding.

  6. SusanMarie on February 28, 2019 at 06:15

    Borrowing and slightly changing the sentence from the Rule:

    We are called to accept with compassion and humility the particular fragility, complexity and incompleteness of each human being.

    This is similar to what we pledge in our Baptismal Covenant and a good thing to remember throughout all of life with every encounter of another.

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