Offers food for thought
Readings Wisdom 9:13-18; Philemon 9b,12-17; Luke 14:25-33
Who is he really, for me? Why do I come to church? Why do I seek the sacraments for my children?
God the Father reminds us throughout the Hebrew testament and Jesus continues to remind us throughout the Gospels that being part of the covenant promise, being a child of God and a disciple of Christ, will be demanding. Each of us who has accepted the Way of Christ, who have come to know and understand the Truth of God and who desire Life in the Spirit, has to die with Christ in order to rise with him. In following Jesus, we have to go with him the whole way. We have to accept totally his way of seeing life and then put that into practice. Christ's exhortation to hate father and mother and brothers and sisters simply points out that a Christian can prefer nothing over Christ.
Jesus wants our lives to be lived with integrity and authenticity. If I would describe myself as a disciple of Christ, then my life cannot be determined and manipulated by the undisciplined and untransformed desires of the flesh. We are to live in total freedom, having put on the ‘mind of God’ and become men and women of virtue, wisdom and grace who are true images of God whose likeness is then reflected to the world in which we live.
It also means that any aspect of a person or anything that lessens that freedom to follow truth and love is to be “hated” and overcome. Faith that does not increasingly transform us over the course of our lives, is a faith with shallow roots and is easily destroyed by the winds of temptation that come before the storms that bring destruction and death. Jesus Christ is calling you and I to rise above lukewarmness and mediocrity and to pursue the greatness for which we were made and to which we are called. To follow Christ means to work hard building up his Kingdom and conquering our selfish, self-indulgent tendencies.
This life in Christ, as disciples, does not necessarily mean we must engage in world changing action on a grand scale, but it does mean that we must be engaged in changing the world through our faith in action; in word and deed; and the silence of prayer. The saints, with consistent and loud chorus, tell us that holiness is found in sanctifying our everyday actions, however small.
If we are not watchful, if we are not vigilant, if we are not intensely focused on the pursuit of holiness, we will fall away. No one coasts into heaven without intentional effort! Clothe yourselves in the armor of God and take up the weapons of prayer and penance, calling on the Holy Spirit to fan the flames of your faith into a white hot fire of love for God, neighbor and unyielding commitment to the fulfillment of your mission and vocation.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.