Planning and Entrusting

by Shiu Lan
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

AMOS 7:12-15


MARK 6:7-13

In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, we hear that Jesus sends out his twelve apostles two by two to preach the good news of the kingdom of God. As He sends them out, He orders them to take nothing for their journey, no bread, no money, no bag, they are to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.

Jesus’ orders seem to be primarily intended for apostles, priests, those in religious life or the lay apostolate who take on as their mission in life to evangelize and do God’s work on earth. It is a complete entrusting to God of one’s material needs and reliance on God’s providence. Those of us who live a secular life tend to put in an excessive amount of planning into our lives. When we were young, our parents planned for us. They planned for our education and our upbringing. We then take over to plan for our own future, our career, our family and so on. We plan for our children, maybe even more meticulously than what our parents planned for us. Then we plan for our retirement and end of life. We are a loyal supporter of insurance and purchase a safety net for every imaginable disaster that can happen in our lives.

Surely we cannot do without planning for we need a roadmap for our journey in life. But as we plan, we must bear in mind Jesus’ advice which is equally relevant to us, people of the world “to take nothing for (your) journey, no bread, no bag, no money in (your) belts” (Mark 6:8). We must entrust to God as much as we plan and avoid the pitfall of focusing too much on our worldly cares. Since we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (second reading Ephesians 1:3-4), our ultimate goal in life is our salvation.

“The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps” (Responsorial Psalm 85:13-14). Would you be inspired by this beautiful verse to let go of some of the planning and to entrust more to His divine Providence?