Whenever we travel we always like to be well prepared. What clothes will we bring? Where will we stay? Where will we eat? Who will take care of us?
In different fashion Jesus sent off the Twelve on their preaching missions with specific instructions to bring nothing and to depend on the kindness and generosity of people: “No food, no bag, no money in their belts,” “no extra tunic.” Somehow in his infinite goodness God will take care of those who preach the Good News.
Sandals and walking staffs are most useful in walking through dusty and rough paths of roads. Not carrying an extra tunic makes them more truly dependent on people they minister to.
If they are not welcome or not listened to, they are to signify their disgust and disappointment by shaking the dust off their feet as they leave,
The Church has sent off many missionaries to distant lands and islands following the same instructions given by Christ to the Twelve and to his other disciples. In this way they learned to depend on God: after all the Gospel is preached in God’s name and for his greater glory.
God continues to show his marvelous power not only in the faith and confidence of such missionaries of the Good News but also in the generosity and care shown by people to these bearers of the Good News. This clearly manifests that the mission becomes a concrete example of how faith nurtures both the missionary and those being addressed. Love is indeed shown in deeds and not merely in words. And God assures those who preach the Good News that they are worthy of their hire: God will watch over and repay them in providing their needs through the generosity of people. For us, the lesson is to give proper support to the Church and its workers.