Daily Reflection – Sep 4, 2016
Sunday 4 September 2016
First Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge
Psalm 89(90):3-6, 12-14
Second Reading: Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33
Today’s Note: Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost? (Luke 14:28)
Few of us have needed to build a tower, much less review troops before battle. But we all have plans that require us to assess our resources. Do I have what it takes to get that degree?. . . to care for a foster child or elderly relative?. . . to lead that Bible study in my parish?
The woman being canonized today certainly had what it takes. As she made her life “something beautiful for God,” St. Teresa of Calcutta showed the determination that is the hallmark of every disciple. “The first step to becoming holy,” she once said, “is to will it.”
This can sound intimidating, especially if you don’t see yourself as a particularly determined person. But Jesus wants to share the secret that Mother Teresa and every other saint discovered: sheer willpower isn’t the whole story. The truly critical factor is God’s desire.
If you want your life to be something beautiful for God, know that he wants the same thing. Know also that he has all the grace you need to accomplish it. He has filled you with his Spirit; he gives you his Body and Blood at Mass; he walks beside you every day, helping you when you stumble and cheering you on when you succeed. He is 100 percent behind your desire to build a “tower” that glorifies him.
So whenever you sit down to calculate the cost of following Jesus—especially when that cost seems too high—take comfort from these words from St. Teresa of Calcutta:
You belong to him. Nothing can separate you from him. That one sentence is important to remember. He will be your joy, your strength. If you hold onto that sentence, temptations and difficulties will come, but nothing will break you. . . . My prayer for you is that you . . . answer Jesus’ call to you with the simple word, “Yes.”
“Jesus, I say yes! I will follow you no matter the cost.”