“He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” Mark 6: 7-8
I was greatly moved by these verses in today’s Gospel. For some of us, it might be a cliché, leaving everything for the sake of following Jesus. However, today, these verses allowed me to realize something more – a reminder for all of us as we take on the mission entrusted to us.
Jesus instructed the disciples to take nothing but a walking stick. He could have said to just simply say “Take nothing for the journey.” He will provide with everything that we would need for the journey. But why remind us to take a walking stick? What does a walking stick do?
As I reflected, a walking stick helps a hiker in his journey. A hiker leans on his walking stick to get extra strength. His walking stick helps him go the extra mile. In climbing mountains, a walking stick would really be a great companion. Sometimes, we may forget to acquire a walking stick for our journey, but along the way, we can always find one to aid us out.
What is our modern-day walking stick? I realized that it was prayer. Our daily prayers aid us in the whole day-journey we walk. Everyday, Jesus sends us out into the mission field. Forgetting our walking stick – that is to pray – would injure us. We would easily get tired without anything to lean on, to get strength from. It is the only thing in the world that Jesus reminds us because it is our life. Without conversing with the Source, thus without equipping ourselves for the journey, we can never get anything done. The good news about this is that even if we forget to pray at the start of our journey, which is a natural tendency because we are imperfect, God is always available anytime to listen to us. He will have a hand ready waiting for us to get our walking stick.