Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328) was a Dominican friar and is a great Christian mystic. Through the vivid use of imagery such as, the spark of the soul, the abyss, the desert, the birth of the Word in the heart and the pilgrim on foot, Eckhart directs us to that place which lies beyond the image. Take this one: ‘God is always at home. It is we who have gone for a walk’. It is full of paradox and depth. Eckhart was unjustly accused of heresy and met with condemnation.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus literally sends the disciples out for a walk! As his followers they have the job of showing that the message and the mission of Jesus is credible through listening,
preaching and healing. He even alerts them to the reality of rejection.
They are to travel light. We often carry baggage that is internal. We hold onto festering old wounds, not because we enjoy being hurt, but because we are afraid to let go. We carry resentments, anger, and all kinds of hatred and prejudice, thinking that these heavy pieces of baggage will protect us from further hurt or injury. Jesus urges us to let go of these things that weigh us down. Take only the sandals of discipleship, along with a walking stick to support us.
Take the risk, he tells us, of depending on the hospitality and kindness of others. In telling us to travel in pairs, he encourages us to trust the community of believers, the other members of this parish, to support us in living the Gospel values he teaches.