Toward the end of my first year as a Jesuit novice, I was sent out on my poverty pilgrimage: a thirty-six day journey around the country with empty pockets, learning to count on the generosity of others to keep me fed and moving along. I was advised to “travel light” to learn greater dependence on God whatever I might encounter along the way. Fearful at first, I quickly found that traveling light made it a lot easier to turn to God with my needs as they came up.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t preach that the future will be free from upsetting surprises, but he does reassure his audience not to be led by their fears. When it feels like the earth opens beneath us with a scary diagnosis, or we weather a famine of sadness or despair, or feel plagued by loneliness or depression, a close friendship with the Lord is our lifeline in times of trial.

—Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the West Province currently in Regency in the Advancement Office at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California.




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