1 kings 2:1-4,10-12; PS 1 Chron 29 Lord, you are exalted over all; MArk 6:7-13
We encounter David's farewell speech to his son and successor Solomon in today's first reading. David reminds Solomon of the necessity of obedience to God's commands through the Mosaic Covenant. Part of this farewell exhortation is for Solomon to "take courage and be a man."
What does it mean to be a true man?
The first characteristic is to be God-fearing. God-fearing is one who seeks whole heartily to follow in the way of the Lord. That is, we, if are to be truly courageous must put first things first.
CS Lewis stated that if we put first things first then we get second things but if we put second things first then we lose everything, even first things.
God-fearing allows us to tap into all the other qualities of our personality that enables goodness to rise to the front: generous, principled, devoted to service, decisive, humble, patient, strong, persevering, etc..
All qualities that we would recognize in a Good Man flows from our relationship with God. One's relationship with God is revealed by how we carry ourselves daily.
First things first is a sure recipe for discovering the beauty of who God made us to be man or woman.
As we look to the gospel and we encounter Jesus' words of instruction they too remind us of putting first things first, "take nothing for the journey but a walking stick-no food, no sack, no money in their belts..but wear sandals"
The lack of material possessions serves to underscore complete and total dependence on God, not upon our own human resources or devices.
Even the sandals is pointing to dependence of God as it draws its symbolic meaning from the passover meal and God's instruction to Moses (Exodus 12:11). Sandals were indicative of the "ready position" eagerly anticipating God's command to move forward.
The sandals underlie a sense of urgency that is meant to free them and from complacency and self-reliance.
They went out to preach repentance. They drove out many demons,and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Though repentance means to change, to change one's way of thinking, some things never change. Even today we go forth anointing the sick with oil and experience healing. We also drive out demons. And repentance remains a hallmark of the Christian enterprise. We never tire of changing how we think about God's action in our lives and world, whose love never changes.