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Traveling Light - Weekday Homily Video

By: Father David Marcham on September 27th, 2023

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Traveling Light - Weekday Homily Video

Love thy Neighbor

How many of you are good at traveling lightly? I must confess I still need to make progress in that area. I have had some good role models in Father John Phalen, Father Willy, and really all my brother priests that I’ve served with here at the Father Peyton Center who never seem to have to check luggage on a flight!



I guess it takes practice and faith to get to the point where you don’t think you need to bring half your dresser for a three-day trip. Jesus’ sending the Twelve out to expel demons and cure the sick came with the leap of faith that all their material needs would be provided for out of the goodness of those they served.


Focusing on Mission


In their case, it wasn’t just one destination for a few days, but a road trip with multiple stops for an extended period. It wasn’t only to place their trust in God’s people, but also to focus on their mission. One thing I’ve noticed with people who travel lightly, you’re never waiting for them; they are ready to go in a moment and focused on who they’re going to see and how to get there.

There’s another advantage: with the priests I’ve been with, whoever we met wasn’t commenting about our clothes, technology, or other possessions, but solely on our work, our mission.


The Heart of St. Vincent de Paul


I think that we can combine Jesus’ instruction to the Twelve with the heart and work of St. Vincent de Paul in the sense that keeping what we possess relatively simple, not just on the road but also at home, can serve two purposes.

The first is that having and acquiring possessions doesn’t mean more to us than God, our families, and our friends. Secondly, to this end, espousing the values of St. Vincent de Paul’s care for those in need can help us to be able to let go of clothing and other items of which we have more than enough and that others lack.

If you’ve ever donated to a St. Vincent de Paul Center, there is a feeling of goodness when you get to bring something to help a person in need, and in most cases, you’ll meet other people doing the same. It’s not always easy to make yourself start filling bags of your clothes or perhaps those of a loved one who’s gone home to God, but upon donating and then driving away, there is a sense of doing God’s work on earth.


Letting Go


There’s one last thing that we can let go of, and that is found at the end of the gospel when Jesus says, “And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”

Imagine if we could do what Jesus said. Imagine if when people didn’t welcome us, we were able to let go of our hurts by symbolically shaking them free from our minds, acknowledging them but not being weighed down in any way.

So, what is it that we need to let go of today, to share with others, or perhaps heal a hurt in our lives, something that will help us travel easily and fruitfully with Jesus?

St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!