September 4, 2016 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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“Renounce all my possessions? ”(Lk.14:33) ??? Yikes! I’m not attached to a lot of ‘things’ but my phone? my netflix? my studio? my guitar? What do you mean Jesus? Are you saying that I can’t have things and be a disciple? Today’s Gospel might present a challenge, maybe even a cross (Lk.14:27) yet I’m thinking it presents an invitation to live a fuller life.

The first reading from Wisdom tells us “For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns”. (Wis.9:13)I don’t know about you but when I decide to live each day for the Lord, He has a way of filling it up with divine appointments that bless me and hopefully bless others. I’m finding that the more I say “yes” to His will, the more He “prospers the work of my hands” (Ps. 90:17) and the less time I have to watch Netflix. The more I say ‘Yes’ to Him, the more time I need in prayer because my energy alone isn’t enough to do what He sets before me. My ‘corruptible body’ with its desires, gifts, talents, weaknesses is a gift from God – a gift to be used to communicate His love with others. God knows I love to appreciate good friends, good food, good sound systems, good music and movies. God knows that I enjoy the talents he’s given me. I know He wants me to enjoy life. Yet I think He’s saying today – don’t be attached to them – be attached to Him! Only in loving and serving Him is there real “joy and gladness all our days” (Psalm 90) Everything else has the potential to be a burden, to rob us of freedom, to rob us of salvation, to take us away from living out His daily plan and His eternal plan for us.

So let’s ponder today what ‘things’ in our life we are fixated on that block us from fixing our eyes on Jesus. Lord, let your grace be our strength to quit wasting time with those things and replace them with awesome, exciting, empowering discipleship. Saint  Mother Teresa pray for us! “And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours!” (Ps. 90:17)

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