Monday, March 11, 2019 at 6:38 PM
Stations of the Cross every Friday in Lent. We are alternating times. This Friday, March 15 at 7:00pm, next Friday, March 22 at 3:00pm. If you are of age, please remember to Fast and Abstain

09/04/16 Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Ron

Homily Summary for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time ~ Deacon Landry


The words of our Savior in today's gospel are disconcerting, even shocking. Our messiah, who we believe to be the Son of God—and therefore pure love itself—declares that we must hate in order to be his disciples. We can easily imagine the confusion and discouragement of those hearing Jesus' demands some two thousand years ago, because we might very well have those feelings at this very moment. Even if we can't fully comprehend what our Lord is requiring of us, it most certainly appears that the cost of discipleship is too much for us to accept.

Yet here we are; and clearly we consider ourselves Christians, true disciples of the Incarnate Word. What indeed is the cost; the commitment; the sacrifice? And are we truly willing to accept it? Today's gospel causes us to reflect upon this in a very practical manner. One of the first things we learn in today's gospel about discipleship is that it requires serious consideration; reflection upon whether we are willing and able to accept all that it entails.

And exactly what does discipleship entail? Jesus Christ states in no uncertain terms. Certainly the idea of carrying a cross conjures up images of cost and sacrifice. A heavy burden. Even ultimate death.

Each of us is familiar with the notion that we each have our cross to bear. Understandably, this can easily take on simply a connotation of a heavy burden, a sacrifice, a cost. But what if we were to consider our way of the cross the life we choose.

If we choose to live as Christians, certainly our lives do involve sacrifice and cost. The very symbol of our faith is our Savior hanging on the Cross. We are constantly reminded of the cost—the ultimate sacrifice—that Jesus Christ paid for us. And with regard to the sacrifice and cost of discipleship, Jesus does not minimize what we must do. In telling us we must hate our family—even our very life—Jesus is emphasizing that we must absolutely put God above everything and everyone; to the extent that a comparison of our devotion to Almighty God and anything or anyone else could be expressed in the astonishing terms we hear in today's gospel.    

However, the cost of focusing only on the sacrifice and cost of our discipleship is to sacrifice the most profoundly awesome reality of our faith. The comprehensive meaning of the Cross transcends suffering and death and represents for all disciples of Jesus Christ the hope of reconciliation with Almighty God; ultimately everlasting life. The cross that our Lord tells us that we must take up is our life here on earth and our way to everlasting life with Almighty God in Heaven. And so, my sisters and brothers in Christ, today's gospel is not simply about the cost and sacrifice of discipleship; it is very much about the hope and joy of discipleship!

How we will carry our cross requires careful thought, heartfelt prayer and a strong commitment. Jesus Christ does not minimize the meaning of discipleship—neither the cost, nor the reward!


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