I'd like to introduce you to my friend Justin Case. Perhaps you already know him. He's the person who when taking a day trip to the beach packs extra towels, a hoodie, long pants, extra sunscreen, two blankets, a folding chair, a beach umbrella, snacks, two water bottles, and rain gear "just in case." When going for a week's vacation, he has to rent a U- Hall to bring all his things "just in case." He's the guy you are behind at the security line at the airport with his computer, cell phone, iPad, iPod, MP3 and an overstuffed carry-on. He's a bit of a pack rat, saving magazines and newspapers "just in case" he wants to refer to some article in the future. He's always prepared for whatever the weather and whatever the circumstance "just in case."
He's a pain the neck. And he's a far cry from the recommendation Jesus gives to those going on mission in today's Gospel.
We are all like Justin Case fairly often though we laugh at him and are loathe to admit it. We have to stay connected to everything and everybody through our electronic gadgets, apps, and cell phones. We search for security through our possessions taking comfort in the fact we are prepared for every eventuality in terms of food, shelter, and clothing, having more in our pantries and closets than some third world countries.
Now I'm going to present you and myself with a challenge. Just for today, for a few hours, become disc onnected. Go for a walk without your iPod or MP3, listening for the sounds of nature instead of being "plugged in." Play tag with your children instead of on-line tag with Facebook. Further, I suggest that all of us not only turn off our cell phones, but leave them behind when outside gardening or at the lake or beach.
How will we ever survive!
-Fr. Sas, Homily from July 7
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C