Saturday, September 03, 2016
23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
04 September 2016
23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle C. Green.
Wis 9: 13 –18b / Phlm 9 – 10, 12 – 17 / Lk 14:25- 33
From the 1st Reading: Wis 9: 13, 14
Indeed, what man can know the intentions of God? Who can discern the plan of the Lord?"
Gospel Reading: Lk 14:25 - 33
One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, "If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciples.
"Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
"And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand men can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? And if not, while the other is still a long way off he send messengers for peace talks. In the same way, none of you may become my disciple if he doesn't give up everything he has."
At first glance it would seem as though the various ideas in the Gospel reading are not connected. But the parables about building a house and confronting an invading army are indeed connected with the core condition for discipleship of Jesus. Both require astuteness and a readiness to let go when this is necessary.
Applied to our own lives, to our desire to follow in the footsteps of the Lord, we readily see that there are challenges of building and re-building ourselves, of being faced with problems from within and without. And the Lord's invitation is: "Let go and leave to God."
It may not be as simplistic as that. But our loving Lord expects that we make use of whatever talents and powers we have been gifted with and exhaust these to the measure we reasonably can. And all is said and done, we let God take over, entrusting ourselves to him, to let him do his part in moving us forward.
There is a maxim attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola that is often misquoted. The incorrect version is, "When I pray, I will pray as though everything depended on God and not on me; when I act, I will do so as though everything depended on me and not on God."
The correct version is, "When I pray, I will pray as though everything depended on me and not on God; but when I act, I will do so while believing that everything depended on God and not on me."
This may seem odd, but this is how St Ignatius understood God's action in us and our human cooperation, that, when we pray, God still expects us to do our part, using our minds and hands to carry out what we are capable of; and, when we act. We must also bear in mind that all is grace and the strength that we exert comes from God.
The late Fr. Jaime Bulatao S.J. had an interesting description of how we tend to be segurista in relating to the Lord, in "split-level Christianity." We hold on to our Christian faith insofar as it benefits us but turn to alternative ways of carrying things out when this seem useful for us or so we think. For instance, we faithfully attend Mass on Sundays, but we may be harsh to other people.
The challenge of Jesus is to take stock and think well on how we carry out our lives and to radically let go of such ways that may be convenient for us but do not really contribute to our growth as his followers,
We cannot rely on our powers alone. We need to let go and to let him take over our lives, in the way he wishes.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Patrick Lawrence N. Sy
Dondi & Aileen Narciso
For the repose of the souls of Felicitacion Dionglay Ramos, Lourdes Co Ting & Aida.
For the intentions of Loretta Teh Ang.
Have a good day!
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