Sunday, June 26, 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
On this Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the readings take us back to the basics, inviting us to reflect honestly on our deepest priorities in life.
In the Gospel from Saint Luke, Christ referred to the struggle to put Him above all else as He encountered two “would be” disciples on His way to Jerusalem. “‘Follow me,’” Jesus said to the first man. “But he replied, ‘Lord let me go first and bury my father.’” The other said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” These two want to follow Christ but only on their own terms, only after taking care of some other, more pressing matters (at least in their own minds).
To this, Christ says thanks but no thanks! Following Him requires an unqualified “yes” not an ambivalent “yes but…” We are called to put Christ and His kingdom ahead of our own plans if we truly wish to be his disciples and to find victory in the battle of selfishness and narcissism.
Living a life as an intentional Catholic Christian can go a long way in arming us for victory. A life in Christ provides us with a custom-made “training plan” — the commitment to a specific offering of our time, talent, and treasure to the Kingdom of God. It is a plan discerned through prayer and by looking at the realities of our unique circumstances, strengths, and limitations. The daily discipline of committing to the plan strengthens us and helps us gradually move away from the “yes, but” attitude and towards an unqualified “yes!” to Christ and His will.
Do not be afraid to give the best of yourself and your gifts to Christ. He deserves nothing less. And this way of life, while it can be challenging, will be characterized by a joy and peace that only comes from living for Him.