Today’s Thoughts: Have you ever found yourself at a point in your life when you thought you had things figured out? When you were confident that you knew what your next step would be? When you felt that you had jumped through all the hoops and it was time to focus on “me!” – And then all the planning, all the confidence, all the understanding went right out the window, and your faith was put to the test because it seemed God had a different idea. – Well, it has happened to me more than once in my life and I am certain it will happen again.
My ramblings above I believe sit at the heart of Jesus’ teaching to in our Gospel today from Matthew (Mt. 10:37-42). Jesus’ words today can sound harsh, almost unthinkable. "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt. 10:37-39) Really? Listening to these words creates a feeling of sadness and hopelessness in me. Now I do not have any daughters or sons, but I genuinely love my mother, father, sister, and brother and all the other members of my family and extended family. Does that make me unworthy? I am rather attached to my life and I would prefer not to give it up anytime soon. Does that make me unworthy? No! It makes me human.
If we approach Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel today literally, they make no sense especially in terms of other teachings that Jesus gave. We need to remember that Jesus is preparing his apostles, his disciples to go out on mission alone. Jesus will not be physically with them as he has been up until this point in time. They are going to face challenges, rejections, and disappointments more often than they will experience successes and joys. Jesus wants them to be focused and on point. They need to know the origin and source of their mission in order to survive and remain faithful.
To be disciples, followers of Jesus we must be willing to put ourselves in his hands, no questions asked! Our love of mother, father, sister, and brother must flow from our love of God. Our vision of life must take a back seat to God’s vision of our life.
One day, I was sitting with my spiritual director, telling her a little of my journey of life. I told her that one of the insights I have about my life is that every time I think I have things figured out. Every time I think it is time for me to take care of me God asked something different of me. In other words, I must lose my life so that I can find it!
It is not easy but then Jesus never said it would be. We like to be in control that is a fact. Jesus asks us to let go of control, to pick up our cross and follow.
Have a blessed, holy, safe, and healthy Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...