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Travel Light.

Inggit at Panlalait.
April 5, 2021
Magsayang ng Oras.
April 5, 2021
PITIK-BULAG: Travel Light.
One of the things I learned in life is – MATERIAL THINGS ARE LIKE MAGNETS. THEY CAN EASILY ATTRACT PEOPLE. And if we are not cautious, we can easily accumulate unnecessary and useless things in our life, until some of us become totally slaves of material things.

But don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with dreaming of having material things abundantly, including money. We definitely need them. They help us make our life more comfortable and enjoyable. They are gifts from God and we are supposed to enjoy and use them well. Even our church needs money and other material things to help the poor and spread God’s Kingdom. The only thing is – we need to know clearly their role and their place in our lives. We need to be aware of their purpose in our life. We are supposed to use them for the benefit of ourselves, and also for others.

But if the glitters and charms of these materials things will blind us and forget God and our responsibility to help others, and be tempted to desire for more for selfish desire, then it becomes the devil’s trap and source of our destruction. For St Ignatius of Loyola, it is natural for us to be attached to wealth, power, and honor. But WHEN THESE THINGS START TO CONTROL OUR LIVES AND STOP US TO FOLLOW THE GOD, THEY BECOME INORDINATE ATTACHMENTS.

In our gospel reading today, Jesus gave his final orientation to his disciples as they begin their mission to spread God’s Kingdom. Jesus saw the need to convey basic but important things to remember to fulfill their mission: They were not supposed to bring bread, haversack, and money. They could wear sandals but no extra shirts. They were told not to be choosy with the place to stay and food to eat. Tough one! Was Jesus insensitive to the simple needs of his disciples?

But why such difficult conditions? It was basically to train them to master the art of detachment from any excessive attachments to wealth, power, and honor; and be totally dependent on God’s providence. If they were detached from any inordinate attachments and influences, it would be easier for the disciples to follow God’s will. It should be noted that Jesus did not necessarily want his disciples to hate material things.

As modern disciples of Christ, we are also called to learn the art of detachment; especially in the midst of a materialistic world today, where wealth, honor, and power seem to, grabbed us. Thus, we are encouraged to travel light. Trim our excesses. Don’t buy what we don’t need. Don’t horde things. Share your blessings to the less fortunate. And SIMPLIFY OUR LIFE. We need to remove all our excess baggage so that we could easily and freely respond to God’s will.

But what does it mean to simplify our lifestyle? Do we really need to totally renounce wealth, power, and honor? Then sell all our properties, give them to charitable institutions and live like the poor? This is not the meaning of simplicity of lifestyle. To live simply is a decision to detach ourselves from the influence of wealth, power, and honor. St Ignatius of Loyola called it INDIFFERENCE – a disposition to choose anything that will give glory to God – whether it’s wealth or poverty, health or sickness, honor or insult, winner or loser.

It means I can equally enjoy dining in an expensive restaurant with the rich or just eating sardines with the poor and marginalized. It means I can take a Mercedez Benz or a pedicab to my destination. I can take an aircon bus or an ordinary bus. I can sleep in a first-class hotel or in a rural area. I can be a leader or a follower. I can be a humble winner or a good loser. And I can take the aisle seat, window, or middle seat. In other words, because of my detachment or indifference to everything, I can simply respond to God’s call … to do anything, to go anywhere, and to be with everybody … FOR GOD’S GREATER GLORY!

What are your attachments in life? What are the things that stop you to follow God’s will? Are you inordinately attached to people, things, wealth, recognition, position, and others? Have you tried living a living life? Somehow, we realized that attachments burden us in life.

My personal experience will tell me the joy and the advantage of traveling light. I don’t need to come early to the airport to check in my luggage. I don’t need to rush when the airport calls for boarding. No worries about luggage. I don’t need to go to the luggage area and leave the airport quickly. And since I don’t have extra luggage, I can easily take MRT to Ateneo and save money from taking a taxi. Traveling becomes easy and enjoyable for me.

What about you? Are you a light traveler in life? Let’s try to live simply so that others will live a good life.

– Pitik-Bulag

 


Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 7-13

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