Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Wednesday 31st Week in Ordinary Time

November 8, 2006
Wednesday 31st Week in Ordinary Time - Yr II


My beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am
present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation
with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose,
works in you both to desire and to work. Do everything without
grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent,
children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse
generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold
on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be
that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. But, even if I am poured
out as a libation upon the sacrificial service of your faith, I rejoice
and share my joy with all of you. In the same way you also should
rejoice and share your joy with me.

LUKE 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed
them, "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife
and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be
my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does
not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for
its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding
himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and
say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to
finish.' Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and
decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose
another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if
not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for
peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all
his possessions cannot be my disciple."


In Jesus' day Jews used hyperbole as a figure of speech to forcefully
make a point. What Jesus is saying is that in the hierarchy of love,
priority must always be given to the disciple's relationship with
Jesus. The hyperbole in Jesus' words emphasizes the radical demands
of discipleship. Fr. Charles Miller puts it this way: "The point
which [Jesus] wanted to make was that no one may be allowed to turn us
away from him, even if that person is someone who is very close to us.
Jesus must come first in our lives."

Paul in the first reading is saying pretty much the same thing. He
looks about himself and sees the early Christians living in the midst
of a "twisted and depraved generation." He urges the Philippians to
prove themselves innocent and straightforward, children of God beyond
reproach. They are therefore in every situation in which they find
themselves, to be true to God and Jesus, to live out in their lives the
commands given them by God through Jesus.

Today we might admit that we, too, live in the midst of a twisted and
depraved generation. Materialism and consumerism rule our generation.
Marriage and the family are constantly under attack. Respect for the
sanctity of human life: very few seem to have any interest in it.

In the midst of this sad situation, we are to let our personal love for
Jesus manifest itself in our dedication to the values with which he
wants to rule the world.

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