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 of us sang such rhymes in our youth perhaps making the best of the days when our 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 we call 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. He not only gives them upkeep but a more valuable inner joy.
Often enough today we forget this instruction from Jesus. Preachers will set substantial fees for their services. Lay people also may always look for compensation for any service rendered. It is not that asking a definite amount for one’s efforts is wrong. The problem is that we do not see ourselves as God’s children with responsibility for one another.