Sunday, July 01, 2007

13th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C


In today's Gospel Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem. He knows what is awaits him there. He knows how difficult it will be and while he is resolute in his journey.. (he is willing to pay the price of love) he is very aware that it will cost him. The scholars tell us that Luke used the same verb that he will use later to describe the Ascension. So this is not only a foreshadowing of his death but also of his resurrection and ascension.

As he begins his journey the cross he almost immediately receives the rejection of the Samaritans who refuse to welcome him and his disciples. Jesus does not give into resentment or hurt but rather rebukes his disciples for doing so (They are so upset that they want to call down fire about town)

With the next three passages Jesus tries to teach us the cost of discipleship.

- You will never get rich or enjoy many creature comforts when you follow Christ

“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

-You must stay focused on the mission because it is essential even to the point of letting the dead bury the dead (Many say Jesus was using hyperbole here and that the young man's was probably not dead) It was just a common phrase of his times... Who knows In other words the young man was responding I want to follow you but not now.

- Let me say good by to my family. When we follow Christ we have to let go of the past we can't long for what we had and how we lived. Our whole focus has to be orientated toward the future.
If you are always looking back you've never really left it.

What does all of this have to do with us.

Just like Jesus was resolute in his journey to Jerusalem so must we be willing to pay the price of love... so must we be willing to embrace the cross accept it, You can't have one without the other. Love and the Cross are always connected and we can't give into discouragement. Jesus is on the way to his passion and death and he does not let the rejection of the Samaritans discourage him or allow him to become bitter angry or resentful (He doesn't say they don't appreciate the great sacrifice I am making so I'm not going') He continues on his journey

Do we get resentful when we don't feel we are understood or appreciated?

Is our love free...
While it is easy to see that we won't get rich following Christ is our love free.
Do we expect or even demand moments of priviledge or respect because of our the path we have chosen.

The Son of Man didn't even have a place to lay his head

Our mission is so essential Jesus continued on it knowing that it would cost him his life
Are we so resolute or do we place other obligations or expectations before God's call

Do we find excuses.... Yes I want to be a good person and follow Christ but
I have to do this
and I want to do that
Do we have divided hearts

Finally are we only willing to follow Christ and love our brothers and sisters on our terms or on God's terms.

We desire to say "Yes" with our whole heart but on our terms always with a little gleam in our eye for what we had in the past ? I'll go but can't I just keep this for myself

I'll go but I have to hold on to some past relationships
It's like saying I love you and I want to marry you but I just want to keep my past relationships in my head. You can't have it both ways

Not too smart if your want your marriage to be a success

The following Christ and living the life that the Gospel calls us to live is never easy. If it is easy maybe we are not living it.

Yet loving God and loving each other is our destiny it is why we were created and how we are to find our way home. It is not optional

Let us reflect this week on the simple question " Am I willing to love without counting the cost"

How we answer that question is pretty important

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