WSC Reflection June 26, 2022

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C, Year II)
Community Word: The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God and the Power who transforms our life in Christ.
Theme: Our life is transformed when we fix our eyes on Jesus and live by the Spirit.
Promise: “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Ps. 16:11)

God’s spoken word for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time is “Follow Me” (Lk 9:59), tough words expressing a demand, an urgent call, leaving us with no option but to follow. Difficult as it may seem, His words compel us to act.
Luke’s gospel vividly illustrates three types of ‘would be’ disciples, each one identified by his response to the call of Jesus to join in His mission. We can probably relate to these stories as each one resonates with our own situation and life, especially when we are invited by the Lord to serve in community evangelization and mission work.
In the first scene, we can empathize with this man who is so amazed by the miracles and teachings of Jesus. He approaches the Lord full of excitement and enthusiasm: “… I will follow whereever you go,” (Lk 9:57). This is the same euphoric and enthusiastic feeling we have right after encountering the Lord in our Life in the Spirit Seminar, right? We do not want to lose Him ever again, and we would like to be with Him at all times. But the Lord, seeing our hearts, challenges the seriousness of our intention when He says, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,” (Lk 9:58). Are we, indeed, ready to leave the comforts of a good life – air-conditioned bedrooms, delicious food in every meal, to literally confront poverty, challenges, and simplicity of mission life? Jesus warns us that there’s no place for ‘comfortable’ discipleship in His company.
The second scenario is about a man who seems determined to know more about Jesus, but pleads for just a short delay to attend to other matters…“Lord, first let me go and bury my father,” (Lk 9:59b). This is no different from our excuses when called to prepare ourselves for mission work: ‘I am at the peak of my career and I have no time’… ‘My business needs more attention, I am just too busy at the moment’… ‘I will attend to the teachings when things get better.’ But the Lord wants instant commitment, immediate action, because He knows that when we put off a decision for tomorrow, we are likely never to make that decision at all. The call to discipleship must take priority, overshadowing even our seemingly more urgent and legitimate responsibilities, such as to our families. Jesus is telling us that we cannot be a disciple of convenience, setting our schedule and timetable according to our own needs, instead of that of the Lord’s.
The third scenario shows us yet another facet of a willing follower, one who wants to put his house in order first before committing to the Lord. His reply to Jesus is, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family,” (Lk 9:61). This follower is hampered by earthly concerns. His heart is not in the right place. We are in the same situation when we are sent on a mission, and we make excuses … ‘I still have small children to care for and provide for… I have to first secure my family’s future’… ‘I am still working; I’ll join you when I retire from my job.’ Jesus insists that once committed, we stay focused and not allow ourselves to be distracted by other things, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God,” (Lk 9:62). When we begin the work of God, we just have to step up in faith and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Discipleship requires total dedication and it involves hard and painful sacrifices. When temptations, challenges and sufferings seem to overwhelm us, we can draw inspiration and strength from God’s promise this week, “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Ps 16:11). The Holy Spirit will continue to empower us with His gifts so that we may be spiritually equipped and find the courage to fulfill the tasks ahead in building God’s kingdom here on earth.

Lord Jesus, I regret those times when I failed to align my will to Yours, and continued to pursue my own agenda and priorities before serving you in mission. You set the perfect example as the Servant King. Please help me to respond to Your call with urgency, integrity, and without any excuses. And although I may fall short in meeting Your expectations, grant me the strength and grace to be a disciple that You can truly rely on. In Jesus name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are you ready to take the path that Jesus is calling you to follow, or do you still set conditions before following Him? What is holding you back?
  2. Share a personal experience about a difficult decision you had to make to participate in mission work or call to pastoral service in the community. What sacrifices did you make? What blessings did you receive?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 26, 2022 (Sun) – 1kg 19:16,19-21/ Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11/ Gal 5:1,13-18/ Lk 9:51-62
June 27, 2022 (Mon) – Am 2:6-10, 13-16/ Ps 50:16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23/ Mt 8:18-22
June 28, 2022 (Tue) – Am 3:1-8, 4:11-12/ Ps 5:4-6, 6-7, 8/ Mt 8:23-27
June 29, 2022 (Wed) – Acts 12:1-11/ Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9/ 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18/ Mt 16:13-19
June 30, 2022 (Thurs) – Am 7:10-17/ Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11/ Mt 9:1-8
July 1, 2022 (Fri) – Am 8:4-6, 9-12/ Ps 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131/ Mt 9:9-13
July 2, 2022 (Sat) – Am 9:11-15/ Ps 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14/ Mt 9:14-17

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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