Not Moving In

Homily for Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Preached on September 26, 2018 at the Archabbey Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln, Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad IN
Readings: Proverbs 30:5-9; Psalm 119:29, 72, 89, 101, 104, 163; Luke 9:1-6

In one of our many road trips, Fr. Chris Clay and I were passing through Princeton, New Jersey. I was visiting my sister Ivy and her family in Hamilton, while Fr. Chris was spending the night at the home of his friend from high school, Pat Leger. As Pat and I helped Fr. Chris haul three large suitcases into his guest bedroom (there was still a fourth bag left in the trunk of the car), Pat could not help but ask, “Are you sure that you’re passing through, Clay? ‘Coz it sure looks like you’re moving in.”


In the Gospel, Jesus instructs the Twelve how to avoid giving that same impression (cf. Lk. 9:1-4). He shrinks their suitcases to nothing, going so far as to make suitcases utterly superfluous. “Take nothing for the journey,” Jesus tells them, “neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic” (Lk. 9:3).  He clearly does not want any of them to move in anywhere and get too comfortable (cf. Lk. 9:4); He wants them to keep moving and spread the Word.

For us monks, this admonition from Jesus against moving in seems contrary to our call to stability. But, that is why Saint Benedict also calls us to conversatio. Although we are rooted in a monastery, we are not allowed to stay stuck in a rut; we have to keep moving along the narrow way of the Gospel. Our daily conversatio demands that we continue to divest ourselves of all the baggage that is holding us up, so that, when it is time to move in to the celestial coenobium, nothing will be holding us back and we will be ready to move on.

~ by Fr. Mateo Zamora, OSB on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.

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