Many Americans today are tired, stressed, and broke because their calendars are overscheduled, their closets are overflowing, and their bank accounts are over-extended. That’s why there’s a lot of talk these days about simplifying one’s life by getting organized, becoming uncluttered, trimming expenses, planning meals, and cutting out extra activities. You might say that people are seeking simplicity for the sake of sanity.
Jesus spoke of simplicity in today’s gospel- not for the sake of sanity, but for the sake of sanctity, or holiness. He was sending out his disciples to preach and heal. But he gave them specific orders not to take food, money, or extra clothes with them, not just so they would travel light, but so they would travel with trust- trust that God would care for their needs. Learning to trust in this radical way would remind them daily that the purpose of their trip was to serve the Lord.
But isn’t that our purpose as well- to serve the Lord? Yet so many of the things that complicate our lives obscure that fact, and make us lose sight of what’s most important, and what we’re meant to be about. But, if we remember that the purpose of our lives is to serve the Lord, our lives will always have focus, and we won’t complicate them with activities and acquisitions that don’t really matter. So the world may tell us to simplify so we’ll be less harried. But our Lord tells us to simplicity, so that we might be holy.