June 30: Travel Lite! (13 C)

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5: 1, 13-18.

Summer is a time for travel, and most notably during the coming Independence Day holiday on July 4th. We are about to celebrate a time when thousands upon thousands of people are readying to take to the road with automobiles and campers for a long ride; or eager to get to the airport for flights to vacation spots. A few of us will be at home, maybe today, cleaning the barbeque and preparing for family and guests that will visit.

Jesus, too, is traveling with his disciples from his region on the Lake of Galilee to Jerusalem. This city was the location of the Temple and the seat of religious learning and power for Jews.

According to Luke’s gospel, along the way, Jesus tells many stories or parables about a lost son and a loving father, a good Samaritan who came to the aide of a hurt man lying on the road or the story of the barren fig tree. All of these tales address mercy, compassion, the possibility for new growth, and the need for prayer.

We tell stories of our journeys, and sometimes we post items and photographs on Facebook, Instagram, or write a blog.

When we travel, we take plenty of items that we think we may need for the journey – clothing for several days, personal items like toothbrush & toothpaste, and things that will keep us occupied for the trip like CD’s, books or an I-pad with games.

  • How did Jesus journey from his hometown to Jerusalem? Did he take a bus or train? How about an Uber or Lyft? Does anyone know?
  • Who were his travel companions?
  • What did he carry in his luggage or suitcase?
  • Why was Jesus’s journey to Jerusalem – so important to him?

While Jesus was on this journey, he traveled through the unfriendly Samaritan territory. Even the doors of homes were shut in his face!

Being a follower of Christ was very demanding, to the point of being homeless. After all, Jesus says: “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

To get back to these hostile people, James and John wanted to get even and retaliate with fire. Instead, Jesus tells them that his followers cannot resort to violence. His journey was about mercy, forgiveness, and peace.

That’s what we hear in our second reading, “For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

We call this commandment the “Golden Rule.”

For this rule and on our journey of life: there is no time to waste. As a person on the move, take a few possessions, travel light, and don’t look back!

Rosary Chapel, Santa Catalina Summer Camp, Monterey, CA.

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