Male spirituality features in St Theresa’s ‘Tuesday Talks’
July 6, 2021
Be careful not to impose a ‘Western vision’ on Covid-19 vaccines
July 6, 2021

15th Sunday in OT (B)

Travel light. MARK 6:7–13

By Sandee and Hilary Bengochea

Last year I travelled to London to be with my daughter and son-in-law for the birth of our granddaughter. It was just before the pandemic exploded, and I never imagined that the situation would have escalated as it did.

So, like every true Trini, I went with my suitcase almost empty, taking “nothing for the journey…” but hoping to catch the sales in Primark!

What a shock I was in for when the entire city of London went into lockdown a few days after I arrived. And I entered the house and literally stayed there until I left eight months later, wearing only my yoga pants and thankfully, my daughter’s maternity clothes. I lived the Gospel almost to the letter.

I discovered however, that even with the simplest of wear and no use for money, I was able to fulfil my primary mission for going to London, that is, to minister to my children.

And it could not have been done without Hilary. Although he was not physically present, he provided the support and encouragement I needed when things got rough managing new parents with a baby in a pandemic.

He was just a phone call away, providing spiritual and emotional support.  Your companion does not always have to be physically present.

The disciples were allowed to take only one thing with them –a staff, something to lean on, to support them as they journeyed. My staff was my rosary.

The lessons learnt were enormous. If our materialistic society preaches that possessions are necessary for security and guaranteeing one’s future, the Christian way of life points to an entirely different reality.

Today we are being asked to be counter-witnesses to possessiveness, retail therapy, and the consumerism to which advertisements propel us. Jesus’ message is, to be a Christian means to travel light in this journey of life. The raging pandemic has made this a glaring truth.

We are transcending into a people who understand that it is not what we adorn our bodies and buildings with that make us holy, but the love and care which we share with each other, ensuring justice and mercy is shown to the hungry, the unemployed, the migrant, the dying, and the grieving.

Our Lord is giving us the power, as Pope Francis said, “to cast out impure spirits, to liberate, to heal. This is the power that Jesus gives”. Indeed, He “does not give the power to manoeuvre or to build large companies.”

“The Kingdom of God has little to do with affluence: it is all about simplicity of life and sharing with the needy something altogether different, a radical dependence on God” (Pope Francis).

Our beautiful churches have been closed for over ten weeks. We are now being fed spiritual communion in simple chapels where Masses are being said in virtual spaces.  We no longer have a central temple where everyone comes, but He is saying to you, go out two by two – you go to them.

We must leave the temple doors shut and go out to minister to the poor, the hungry, the evicted, the victims of xenophobia, the migrants, asking God to help us not to let negative ‘dust’ cling to us and slow us down.

And so, we must now go out into the community. A dis-establishment notion of our religious traditions is critical. Dis-establishment of ones’ religious traditions does not weaken an institution, but rather strengthens it as we allow ourselves to enter the catharsis of this liminal space which the world finds itself.

This means reorganising our perception of what it means to be a follower of Christ. We can no longer go to our beautiful churches; we must now understand that the work of our religion is the work of justice.

Dom Helder Camara, the saintly Brazilian bishop of the dispossessed, used to tell his catechists, who were speaking to illiterate people: “Sisters and brothers, watch how you live. Your lives may be the only gospel your listeners will ever read.”

Lord, help us to go out and anoint with oil the many who are sick and cure them.  And forgive us for the times when our lifestyle distorted your gospel.


The gospel meditations for July are by Hilary and Sandee Bengochea who have been married for 41 years and have been actively involved in marriage and family life ministries for over 35 years. They are the parents of four children.

Hilary is an Aspirant in the Diaconate programme, and Sandee is involved in the Caribbean arm of the World Community for Christian Meditation.

They lead the group Bible Circles Meditation which practises Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation and warm hugs!

Photo by Mukuko Studio on Unsplash