The Apostolic Life


The Readings for the Feast of St Luke, Apostle and Evangelist
Thursday in the 28th Week of Ordinary Time (B2)

Nolite portare sacculum, neque peram, neque calceamenta, et neminem per viam salutaveritis.
Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes; and salute no man by the way.

I hear lamentations that some clergy – especially the newly minted sort – don’t know what “real life” is like. Why would we wish that on them, these men who are supposed to stand as physicians for our souls?
Should we not rather take their sacramental daze and build it out? Should we not rather work to be in their world?
Can we forget what the “real world” is like?
Can we recognize that even the folks from whom we steal wages by shopping at Amazon are God’s children?
The Apostolic life. What must it be like us in this day?
Can we in this day of technology and free sex find a way to abandon all goods and live the Gospel?
Is there a possibility of freedom in this world as slavery catches us in on every side?
Can we accept that the sins of the many do not permit even one extra sin?
Can we grant that it’s possible to have too much stuff?
Where will they hear the Gospel if they don’t want to hear it? Who will live that picture book for them?
If the Gospel only means treat your employees like dirt, your coworkers like tools, your bosses like kings, and your families like a chore, what makes us any different from anyone else who may rank the order differently… but will use the same words?
We are in the world and we are of it, can we not forget it?
Can we not realize that “all things in common” means “no one need be poor”?
Can we love without lust?
Can we lead without judging even those who lust to what is real love?
Can we forget what the real world is like and live the Gospel?
Can we let go of a mentality of porn so ubiquitous that we fail to see when “food porn” and “motor porn” and “shopping porn” are all real issues; can we realize that all “advertising” is just porn – designed to stir lustful passions for stuff that isn’t ours?
Can we let go of the pain, the cries of “What about me?” and the demand for “my fair share” and “what’s coming to me”?
Can we untangle the gospel from petty cries for merely worldly “justice”?
Can we redefine Justice as God’s Rule and not man’s rules?
Can we stop our theft from the future, our massive credit debt we owe to our children, our fellows, our neighbors?
Can we learn the very meaning of “to have” is “to share”?
Can we drop out of the social net without disconnecting from those we are called to save?
Can we forget the calls of “honor” and “respect” and “patriotism” that the world puts on us?
Can enough silence be made to give us time to hear God’s heart?
Can we leave behind the “real world” so as to save the real people who live in it?

There’s a little voice inside that calls me to pick up and go: to start walking to Mom’s and see if I can preach any Gospel along the way. By preaching I mean live. By living I mean love.

Can we?

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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