Red Letter Day 28: Happy St. Patrick's Day!
2015 Lent Blog
Tuesday March 17
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”
These were the instructions Jesus gave his disciples when he sent them out to share his message the first time. There were not contingency plans. They did not have strategic reserves in case there were problems, but they were asked to rely upon God for help and support. This is truly living by faith. I thought of these words today on St Patrick’s Day. He was kidnapped from Britain at age 16 in about 406 and taken as a slave to Ireland for 6 years. He then escaped and began religious training after returning home and went back to Ireland. In one of his letters he calls himself the “Bishop of Ireland,” and spent the rest of his life evangelizing, teaching, and setting up the church in Ireland. He is believed to have died about 460 but at that point the church was strong and growing.
The day of his death is March 17 and this is celebrated as a Feast Day by many churches. Lenten fasts of food and alcohol are lifted for this one day and that is why the day has a robust character.
I am sure these words of Jesus must have been on Patrick’s mind when he returned to the place of his servitude. The remarkable thing is how they welcomed him and why would anyone return to such a place? It is because Jesus calls people to go, and to trust him then, as they do today.
In Christ’s Service,