Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Just off the Piazza Barberini on the Via Veneto is the church of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Capuccini, known to the Americans as the Bone Church. The walls of the crypt are decorated with the bone of over 3000 skeletons. Yes, to our American sensibility it seems creepy. But when you reach the end of the walk there is a simple sign in several languages:

What you are now, we once were
What we are now, you will be

In the gospel today Jesus sends the 12 out in the world with a very simple instruction

Take nothing for the journey

For each of us we will really have no choice when it comes to the ultimate journey. We will take no thing with us. We can take no things with us. If a priest is there perhaps we will receive viaticum, literally "food for the journey." But that is not a thing, it is a person, Christ present in the Eucharist, to accompany us on the journey from this life to the next. And when we reach our ultimate destination, while none of the things we accumulated in this life will be there, the loving relationships we built in this life can be there with us for all eternity.

As we start this beautiful Fall day, these are things worth remembering, and perhaps we can go through this day with our eyes fixed on the people and not the things.