Jeremiah 38: 4-6, 8-10; Psalm 40, Response: Lord, come to my aid; Hebrews 12: 1-4; Gospel: Luke 12: 40-5
This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us of the radical reorientation that our Christian vocation asks of us. In the call of the apostles, we often see how, upon receiving the call of Christ, they leave everything behind.
Christ, in today’s Gospel, issues an even more radical “warning”—how living out Christian vocation puts us at odds even with those who are close to us, people we love and value.
We give up what we value for something of greater value. This is true from the simplest human desires to the most sublime and noble passions, or what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls “the holy desires.”
A little child will choose a bar of chocolate over a dish of vegetables. For those who have become “addicted,” the upgrading of mobile phones to the newest model has become a constant pursuit, almost on an annual basis.
Marketing campaigns play to this basic human dynamics: newer, bigger, better, safer. It’s a subtle brainwashing that to be more, you need more.
The summons of Christ goes the opposite direction: To be more, you have to have less. In the words of St. John the Baptist, “[Christ] must increase and I must decrease.” (John 3: 30)
Christ calls us to a radical reorientation of all our desires and passion toward following him in his mission and centering our life completely on him.
St. Paul writes: “I even consider everything as a loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him … ” (Philippians 3: 8-9)
Journey of a soul
I share three prayers this Sunday for our reflection and daily use. Each prayer tells a story, the journey and longing of a soul that finds joy and peace in God alone. May these prayers place us with the Son.
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.”—St. Teresa of Avila
“Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too well-pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess,
We have lost our thirst for the water of life
When, having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim.
Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas where storms show Thy mastery,
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow.
Amen.”—Attributed to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, adapted from an original prayer by Sir Francis Drake
“Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty
Take all my will, my mind, my memory
All things I have and all I own are thine
Thine was the gift to thee I all resign
Do thou direct and govern all and sway
Do what thou wilt command and I obey
Only thy grace, thy love on me bestow
These make me rich all else will I forego.”—St. Ignatius of Loyola —CONTRIBUTED