Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hosea 11:1-4.8e-9; Matthew 10:7-15)
“I have six pence, jolly, jolly six pence
I have six pence to last me all my life.
I have two pence to spend and two pence to lend,
And two pence to send home to my wife, poor wife.”
Many sang such rhymes in their youth perhaps making the best of the days when their earning power was minimal. Perhaps the apostles sang something like it as they were sent by Jesus to proclaim the Good News.
Jesus tells them that they are not to “take gold or silver or copper” with them. The last, a copper coin, is what is called today a penny. Jesus wants the apostles are to preach the goodness of God by their poverty as well as by their words. Completely dependent on Divine Providence, without even a penny to their name, they will show how the Lord cares for those who trust in Him.
Often enough today we forget this instruction from Jesus. Preachers will set their fees to meet their budgets which include hefty health insurance premiums and retirement accounts. We must forgive them for doing so as our society expects that we look after these needs. But we should never abandon the thrust of what Jesus is saying here. When we bestow a blessing of peace on those we meet, we can be assured that the gracious act will come back to us tenfold.