Father Nathan Homily | September 08, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
23rd Sunday Ordinary Time (September 08, 2019)
Today’s readings challenge us to the true Christian discipleship of total commitment to the will of God ALONE. And he invites us to take HIM as the FIRST priority; As the FIRST PRIORITY than any other things and persons.
Scripture lessons summarized:
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. The Phrase to “HATE” in Hebrew means” TO LOVE LESS” (Gen 29/33-33: Deut 21/15-17) The Lord means to tell us that we must love our own father and mother… and our own life too but LESS THAN WE LOVE JESUS. Or put it another way to LOVE HIM MORE THAN ANY OTHER.
The Second Reading
Taken from St. Paul’s letter to Philemon, teaches us that detachment and renunciation are necessary for a true disciple of Christ. As a responsible Apostle and zealous disciple of Christ, Paul had to renounce the service of his new helper, Onesimus, and return him to his master. As a new disciple of Christ, Onesimus had to leave Paul, face his owner as a runaway slave and accept the consequences.
Reminds us to count the cost of being a disciple and follower of Christ because the cost is high: true Christian discipleship requires one to “renounce” both earthly possessions and possessions of the heart (i.e., one’s relationships).
In today’s Gospel, Jesus lays out four conditions for true Christian discipleship.
i) Renounce too much attachment to family, giving priority to God and His commandments.
ii) Break off the excessive attachment to possessions by leading a detached life, willingly sharing one’s blessings with others.
iii) Accept the hard consequences of discipleship which include daily sacrificial service done for others and even the giving one’s life for them.
iv) Calculate the cost involved in following Jesus. Using the two parables of the tower-builder and the king defending his country, Jesus says: think long and hard about Christian discipleship before a decision is made.
We need to accept the challenge of Christian discipleship with heroic commitment and practice it. We do so:
1) by daily recharging our spiritual batteries through prayer, i.e., by talking to God, and by listening to Him through the meditative reading and study of the Bible;
2) by sharing in God’s life through frequent and active participation in the Eucharistic celebration;
3) by practicing the spirit of detachment and the renunciation of evil habits;
4) by giving our time, talents and resources generously, for the Lord’s work in the Church universal, and especially in our parish community, relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Christ is the center of all Christian life.
The bond with him takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social. From the very beginning of the church, there have been men and women who have renounced the great good or marriage to follow the lamb… (CCC 1618)
Have a Blessed Week,
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