Go Open – Br. Luke Ditewig

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. Read More

Traveling Lightly – Br. David Vryhof

Br. David Vryhof

Mark 6:7-13

It can be difficult to discern how instructions given to early Christian missionaries might be applied to modern-day Christians.  Mark’s description of this interaction between Jesus and his disciples is meant to inform and encourage early followers of Jesus who were convinced that Jesus would soon return in triumph, probably in their lifetime.  The disciplines of traveling lightly, of accepting whatever hospitality was offered to them, and of impressing on their hearers the seriousness and urgency of their message were crucial to helping them stay focused on their important task.

But what do such instructions – to take no bread, no bag, no money; to wear sandals and a simple tunic – have to do with us, who seek to carry out the mission of God in the context of an institutional church embedded in an affluent society?  What might these admonitions mean for us? Read More