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October 3, 2012, Wednesday, Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

October 6, 2012

Luke 9:57-62.  I will follow you wherever you go.

Reflection:

We have demands on us.  Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world there is nothing that is certain except death and taxes.”  Lately, in our unsure world, it would seem that this is the only certainty.

Certainty.  The Lord gives us another option; no less drastic, no less severe.  Jesus serves up the demands and cost of discipleship.  What are the demands?  The Son of Man that Luke writes of – and Daniel prophesies – asks nothing less than total dedication.  Jesus himself emphasizes the contrast of his exaltedness and his example of dedication; his poverty.  “The Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

What about the cost?  Nothing less than dying to self and rising to new life; we have been hearing about that frequently these recent readings.  The Lord says, “Let the dead bury their dead.”  He is talking about the spiritual dead taking care of their dead – day in and day out.  Those who have no hope, no faith.  Taking care of the daily death from pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, lust; death from sin.  Jesus wants to talk about life.  Dying we destroy our death, rising we restore our life.  Life everlasting.

And so, that’s the reward.  Nothing less than eternal life.  No tricks here.  Jesus creates no subterfuge. Setting one’s hand to the plough in service to the Kingdom of God will require much sacrifice.  And it will take total dedication to keep from looking back at our comfortable, old life -that life where we thought we had answers and comfort.  If we look back at our old selves, the work for the Kingdom of God will suffer.

Yesterday [October 2], citizens in the Republic of India celebrated the birth of Mohandas Gandhi, and those who celebrated this also recognized – and prayed I dare say – in an International Day of non-Violence; how did we do?  To Gandhi was attributed this convicting quote: “I like your Jesus Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  They are not much like your Jesus Christ.”  Sometimes our old selves are the worst examples of discipleship.  The Christians we are called to be, are the ones the Gospel is trying to instruct us to be, now there is a great example we should strive for – daily.

I like your Jesus Christ.  I do not like your Christians.  They are not much like your Jesus Christ. – Gandhi

Job asks the great question: “How can a man be justified before God?”  Only through the Father’s great mercy – in the form of his Son.  Jesus pays the debt, and only asks that we be serious in our Commission to leading others to Him.  And so, at the end today, we will be dismissed and asked to go and announce the Gospel of the Lord, as best, and as dedicated as we can.

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