READINGS for 2007-07-02
“For the sake of those ten... ” – Genesis 18:32 8-6232. 87000. 887-8888. 911-1111.
In what ways have you not shown mercy?
P S A L M
G O S P E L
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 5-9
Saint Leo II
During this period, the archbishops of Ravenna wanted to be autocephalous, meaning they desired to be free from the direct jurisdiction of the pope. They were not able to get the consent of the popes. So instead, Leo II did the following for them — he obtained from the emperor the abolition of tax the archbishops must pay when they receive the pallium; since the elected archbishop did not want to stay long in Rome, he was still required to visit the city for his consecration but he was not obliged to stay longer than eight days; and, since they were bound to pay homage to the pope every year, the bishops may only send for a delegate instead on their behalf.
Saints Nabor and Felix
FOLLOWING JESUS VOLUNTARILYHow do we follow Jesus? This is indeed an important question, especially in the face of today’s ideologies without direction and leaders without backbone.
Our Gospel episode today presents us two examples of “volunteers” who offer themselves to follow Jesus. All we know of them is that one was a scribe (eagerly presenting himself to Jesus), and the other was a disciple (grieving just after the death of his father). We do not even know if they indeed followed Jesus eventually.
Anyway, what certainly matters is the teaching of Jesus given on this occasion. He presents a triple demand: first, we must give up all security; second, we must subordinate everything (not just anytime but at once) to the duty of evangelizing; and lastly, we must forget the past and face the future.
Whew! We can almost just shudder and sigh in the face of this radical challenge. Such indeed is the high cost of discipleship.
For all we know, the two volunteers did follow Jesus after all. For all we know, they understood the full impact of Jesus’ words to them. For all we know, they were willing to pay the high price to follow Jesus. Surely their lives were never the same again. It was well worth the effort. We ourselves might be following Jesus for some time now, but, just how radically do we do so? Are we merely “eager beavers” who would easily back out at the slightest demand of Jesus? Or do issues of the past continue to bog us down and drag us in our journey?
We might not have exactly “volunteered” to follow Jesus (it was really perhaps He who called us, and we simply responded). But still, that doesn’t dispense us from the all-too-important element of volunteerism in the following of Jesus. That is, it proceeds from our own will, from our own choice or consent, aware of the demands and yet unconstrained by the difficulty, trusting completely in the one we are following: the Lord Jesus Himself. Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: What kind of volunteer are you?
I submit my will to Yours, Lord.
St. Ariston and Companions, martyrs, pray for us.
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