Today’s Thoughts: In our first reading today from the letter of Paul to the Philippians, we find Paul writing from prison. His words are so personal and loving they could only be inspired by someone growing ever closer to our Lord. His connection to the Philippians is strong and feels like he is writing to family. I think we have all has this kind of experience when with a certain group of people, it feels like family. Perhaps at times within a faith community we feel like brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Paul writes about obedience, and his confinement, his words encourage his friends, his faith family to persevere. The one thing he says that often sticks with me is to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) and I find this to be the theme that runs through today’s readings. It is good to recall the meaning of the word fear which was used to convey a deep level of respect. The phrase, fear and trembling are Old Testament terms meaning awe and seriousness. God has a plan and it is perfect, because while Paul was imprisoned, others felt the need to do for themselves, what they had let others do. Like them, we are called to spread the Gospel message with everything we think, say and do, holding firm to Christ’s teachings.
In our Gospel from Luke today, Jesus uses many examples of getting prepared and planning. He’s calling us to follow Him. Just like Paul tells the Philippians, to work out their salvation, deliberately. Jesus says that no one would construct a tower without sitting down and calculating the cost to see if there was enough for completion. If you are not able to finish much above the foundation, you will be laughed at and ridiculed. The same holds true when planning our lives as we work towards the Kingdom. We are being called to follow Jesus so calculate, plan, be deliberate about your actions. If they don’t help us accomplish the goal, they might not be worth doing. We don’t want to run out of time and not have your tower built.
On that day, with the crowds following, Jesus said to do whatever you have to do in order to follow him, even if you have to renounce your family. He asks us to carry our own cross; we all have one, some heavier than others. Jesus asks us to renounce our possessions, so that we can hold on to him and be his disciple. The less meaning our possessions have, the more we’ll be able to focus on our friendship with the Lord.
Have a blessed Wednesday 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...