Mass & Directions

Sunday June 30th: Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Francis Parish | June 27, 2019, 4:16 pm | Reflections

   In today’s readings we hear a consistent message about what it means to be a follower of Christ, a disciple.  Beginning in the first reading from 1 Kings 19, in verse 20 after Elijah throws his cloak on Elisha, symbolizing his being chosen as successor as prophet, Elisha immediately thinks of what will be lost in his choosing to serve the Lord, his parents.  In the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians 5:1, 13-18, we are being told to take care to avoid allowing our desires of the flesh to drive us back into slavery of sin.  “I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” (Gal 5:16-17)  Finally, in the Gospel of Luke 9:51-62, we hear the strongest message of all from Jesus Himself.  In response to one who asks to bury his father Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their dead”, and to another who asks to say farewell to his family, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (LK 9:60-62)  Jesus is telling of the sacrifice required to be a true disciple of Christ.  One must give up everything in order to gain their true inheritance in heaven.  This is a difficult saying for we are called to sacrifice to provide for our families.  How can we be asked to abandon them?
   We can all recall the greatest commandment, from Mark 12:30, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  If we truly do this, what do we have left for others?  Faith!  We have faith in God that if we love Him above all others, including our loved ones here on this earth, He will provide us all that we need to then provide for them.  For without love of God, any other love we claim to have is invalid as God is the source of true love.  Any other love that we think we may have cannot be love as we are incapable of possessing true love without first going to the source of that true love to obtain it.  You see, Jesus is not asking us to abandon our roles as Fathers and Mothers.  He is telling us that without first loving God, we are not equipped to fulfill this role to the fullness He is calling us to.
   Let this week be a time for each of us to evaluate where we are in our relationship with our Lord.  Do we hold other things more important?  Do we constantly ignore what He is telling us and instead choosing to do what we want?
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