This weekend we celebrate the 13th Sunday of Ordinary time. We will keep counting up to 34, the feast of Christ the King, which ends Ordinary time and the Church year. Then Advent starts a new Church year. During Ordinary time, we are following Jesus and learning from His words and example how we are to live as disciples.
Our Gospel today gives us three points to remember, as we walk with Jesus. First, as disciples, we are to invite people to follow Christ, but not condemn or attack them if they decline. Jesus rebuked His disciples, who wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans who did not welcome them. We invite and do our best, but the rest is between God and the individual, not us.
Second, Jesus tells His disciples He has no place to rest His head and they can expect the same. In other words, personal security and advancement cannot be what we are looking for in being a disciple. We have to be ready to sacrifice.
Finally, by saying “let the dead bury their dead” and that the one who is plowing cannot look at what was left behind, Jesus is telling us that being a disciple needs to be a priority in our lives. For those who enter religious life or the priesthood, that looks one way. For those who raise a family, it looks another way, and so on. The point is that, in whatever we do, bringing Christ to others by our words and example needs to be a top priority. That is how disciples live.
Invite but not condemn, be willing to sacrifice, and make Gospel values a priority in everything we do. Three difficult challenges! But we are not alone. Three weeks ago we celebrated Pentecost: we have the Spirit to help us. Last week we celebrated the Body and Blood of Christ: we have the Eucharist to feed and strengthen us. And as we gather each week to celebrate the Mass, we listen to the Word and enjoy the support of the community, also the Body of Christ.
We have been given a big challenge in being called as disciples, but we have been given powerful aids. Are we using them? God bless.
Church sign of the week: Jesus is the light; we are the bulb!