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23RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Dear OLPH Family and Friends,

On this 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Jesus invites us to follow Him but with the warning that if we do, it will require everything we have. One commentator suggests that Jesus’ PR could have used a little help.  Unless its aim is to recruit Navy Seals, the advertising Jesus used would recruit only the hardiest. Advertisers usually try to entice us with comforts and perks with wonderful reasons for buying their product.

Not Jesus.  Just when He has a big crowd chasing after Him, He turns around and tells them that if they want to follow Him they have to abandon family ties, get over their instincts for self-preservation, and be ready to shoulder the worst things they can imagine.  St. Teresa of Avila tried to explain that this was a problem.   She told Him, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few.”

Jesus advised would- be followers to calculate the cost of discipleship.  He reminded them that smart people gauge the expenses before taking on a construction project.   They must decide if they can afford a project that demands so many bricks per square foot at so many shekels per brick, plus labor and permits, bribes and a cushion for the unexpected.  Ultimately, the key question is not the price, but how much do you want the goal?  Is what you are seeking worth the cost?”

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.” These words of Jesus are simply a way of saying that our priority in life must be to Jesus and to His work of completing God’s kingdom on earth.  As followers of Jesus, our responsibility extends beyond our flesh and blood family to the entire human family.  If we want to follow Jesus, we must follow Him not only into church on Sunday morning but also into the workplace on Monday morning.

May God bless, preserve and keep us!

Fr. Ron