Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunday 23C. “Be My Disciple”: At holy Mass we “sit down” and “calculate the cost” of a discipleship which puts the Lord and heaven first

Did you ever meet someone who seemed as if he was constantly saying, “I’m going to do this”, I’m going to do that”, or “I want to do this”, “I want to do that” but when the time came for action he was nowhere to be found? He was probably with a different group of people saying, all over again, “I”ll do this” and I”ll do that”. We call this superficiality. And the consequences can be disastrous for relationships.

When a man and woman say “I do” on their wedding day, they can say so only with the complete trust and love of God that comes through Faith, because it is impossible for them to know on that day just what exactly the future will bring and what will be the demands it will place upon their love and fidelity. But they say “I do” all the same with hearts full of the love and hope that also comes with the grace and gift of faith. But if the day comes that “I do” no longer means coming home at night to the one we have chosen above all others then we place ourselves in an occasion of infidelity to the promise. If the day comes that a spouse is no longer able, as a matter of the will, to say “I love you” and to act on that love then the relationship is in danger of failure.

No human being has ever been happy merely going through the motions of love with an empty and broken heart, although for some this burden has been endured for many years. We have been made for love and a life lived in denial of that truth is a life which does violence to its very self. The God of infinite love and compassion, fully revealed in Christ, knows us best and knows what we truly need to be happy. And He is also Truth itself, and will not tolerate a lie, a falsehood, a sham, a paltry substitute for real love.

God is telling us today that He will not tolerate superficiality because to say one thing and do another is not honest. Actions which do not match words are lacking in integrity. He will not call our lives in love of Him if we say “yes” on the day of our child’s baptism, but then fail to raise that child in the Faith by bringing her to Sunday Mass in accord with God’s command. He will not call it love if we commit a mortal sin and then present ourselves for Holy Communion on Sunday morning without first telling Him we are sorry in the Sacrament of Confession. And he will not call it love if we remain aloof from the communion of life and love with Him in the holy Catholic Church by rejecting His teaching on the sacredness of human life, the truth about marriage, and the dignity of every human person.

But He will never withdraw His love from us. He remains committed in Christ, espousing Himself to us through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ who, now raised up, continues to draw every human person to Himself. God will never stop loving us, and in that love will always beckon us with the truth, for He cannot deny Himself. God’s love is not superficial: one look at the broken Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, remaining committed on the Cross for us until His last drop of Blood and His last breath, easily silences that erroneous notion.

If our goal is heavenly glory, the happiness that will never end, then God tells us today that we must sit down and calculate the cost to us of choosing that goal. The means of reaching that goal is a way of life which we call “discipleship” and the evidence that we are disciples is the Cross that we carry each day out love for Christ who carried His Cross to the very end for love of us.

Every week, especially at holy Mass each Sunday, we “sit down” with the Lord and with the help of His loving Word and the grace of His Eucharistic Body offered to the end on the Cross and raised up to heaven, we “calculate the cost” once again of placing Him first in our lives, so that, having sought the Kingdom first, we continue to trust that He will surely give us all other things besides. God bless you.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

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