– Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent, Solemnity of St Patrick –
‘Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you.’ [Lk 10:4-6]
As we celebrate the Solemnity of St Patrick, we are grateful for the inspiration of a man whose legacy of example and teaching echoes down the ages. In his ‘Confessions’ we read:
‘I know for certain, that before I was humbled I was like a stone lying in deep mire, and he that is mighty came and in his mercy raised me up and, indeed, lifted me high up and placed me on top of the wall.’
These words reflect a primary theme of this Lenten resource: the degree to which we must allow God to do what God is doing in and through us, and only secondarily concern ourselves with our plans and intentions.
It connects with the scripture text for today. The reference to purse, bag and sandals is to emphasise one instruction: do not trust in the things you usually rely on to see you through. The proclamation of the kingdom is dependent on your trust in God, and on what God is doing in you, and not on the various bits and pieces you have at your disposal.
That is to say, the proclamation of the kingdom is about who you are in Christ – and not about what you have. We are to be like Patrick: through everything we are, say and do, we are to share the joy, and the hope that all God is seeking to do is to be found in us.
If we cannot truthfully say that, we must ask what we need to let go of, so that we too, can be raised from the mire and put atop the wall.
By Shane Dwyer