I find it amazing that the Scripture can challenge us in just a few brief words. Today’s gospel brings to a close the so called missionary discourse in which Jesus instructs his disciples on what it actually means to be a disciple. Jesus speaks of the sacrifice demanded in his disciples and the suffering they will endure for their faith. To be a disciple of Jesus means taking the role of prophet for the sake of the kingdom, to be a disciple of Jesus means welcoming and supporting other disciple who do the work of the Gospel.
There are so many things that clamor for our attention and devotion: our jobs, kids, spouses, our hobbies – the demands and distractions of life. As a young professional, using the word busy to describe my life is understatement. But I always seem to make time for things that are insignificant. I started to realize how unimportant some things in my life are, and how important God is. In following the way of Jesus, we can be faced with excruciating choices. We cannot always satisfy family if we want to be true to what we believe. Jesus is not wishing to end the relationships that each one of us has with loved ones but rather telling us that each relationship in our lives and everything that we do, we must include Jesus. Upon entering in a relationship with Jesus, it is not based on our good merits. It is based on His saving grace that compels us to love God and love others. It is about being in relationship that saves, redeems, forgives and renews. We are saved by the grace of God and that grace is what makes us enter in a relationship with God.
There is deep suffering that comes from being true to the mission. Jesus tells us today to take up the Cross. But what is this cross that Jesus is telling us to take up? The cross is different for each one of us. Maybe the cross is a physical ailment and imperfections; perhaps it is that we are getting older. Perhaps that cross is the person sitting next to you. Maybe you married your cross. Whatever the cross is, we have to carry it as best as we can and embrace the Cross with God’s mercy and love. God calls every one of us to the work of prophet: to proclaim His presence among His people and tell the Good News. The gift of faith opens our spirit to realize and accept our call to be witnesses of God’s love borne on the cross. God rejoices when we give our time, our treasures and our talents in service to His people. Our acts of generosity move His heart, and He responds by pouring out His grace.
The good news is that if you do love the Lord, then you will be united with Him; and in being united with Him, you will also be united with everyone else united with the Lord. The love you have for your child, the love you have for your father or your mother—these all have their full home in your shared love of the Lord.
Source: Neo Jeremiah Voice of the Young Prophet July 2, 2017 issue.