Thank you for your continuing prayers for my healing. I am being as patient as possible in this non weight bearing period of my recovery. I won’t have any new information until the bulletin on July 14. Meanwhile, a joke: There is a fine line distinction between a rambling, never-ending homily and a hostage situation! I look forward to returning as soon as I can and I promise: no rambling homilies! Welcome to Fr. Patric and thanks for stepping in.
I’ve often shared the importance of quiet time with the Lord. Put "come away to your secret place" in your browser to read an excellent article by Pat Marrin on this topic.
As we reenter Ordinary time, our readings remind us, yet again, that we are called to follow Christ and bring His Good News to those around us. Our goal for 2019-2020 is to grow in our ability to do so, both as individuals and as a community.
Our first reading presents the call of Elisha to be a prophet. He was not a likely candidate: while relatively well off (he had 12 oxen), he was a farmer. But he said goodbye to his family, killed the oxen, cooked them on a fire fed by the wood from his plow, and gave the food to the poor. By doing this, he made sure he could not go back to his former way of life: the animals and plow were gone.
In the Gospel Jesus says “follow me” to a number of people, each of whom has what seems on the surface to be valid requests, but in actuality were delaying tactics, for example, “let me go first and bury my father.” If the father was dead, the man wouldn’t have been there: he would have been burying his father, because a burial had to take place almost immediately, certainly within 24 hours. Jesus’ followers would have understood that he was saying, “I’ll follow you after I’ve taken care of everything else that I want/need to take care of."
We have said “yes” to follow Jesus, to bring His Good News to others. Do we turn back? What hesitations might we have? As people do when they enter a marriage, we need to leave behind some of our own desires and wants for the sake of the mission that we have accepted.
I invite us to reflect this week: what are some personal challenges or attachments hindering me from answering Jesus’ call to follow Him? How can I grow? And let us support each other in prayer.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS