01 July 2019. Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Gerald M. Moscardon)
Before I entered the seminary, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew I had to let go of my career, my ambitions, my personal dreams but I never realized how much more I have to let go. I told Jesus that if He really wants me to become a priest then I will do my best to respond; but I realized later in formation that I have not yet given my best, my all. In following Jesus or in responding to our vocation, whether to married life, single-blessedness, or priesthood, it requires much more than our yes. It requires giving of our whole selves to it.
The Gospel today states conditions for the would-be followers of Jesus. After professing his desire to follow Jesus wherever he goes, the scribe had a startling realization. If Jesus, the Master he wants to follow, has nowhere to rest His head, does he expect a comfortable life as follower of Jesus?
Jesus purifies our intentions in responding to his invitation. His way is the way of the Cross and there is no other way. If we want to follow Him, we must carry our crosses and follow Him. Another disciple asked if he can bury his father first. It may seem harsh for Jesus to say, “Follow me and let the dead bury the dead”, but He was just trying to stress a point. What is our priority – filial obligation or the Kingdom of God? This is a radical invitation from Jesus that definitely shook the priorities of the would-be disciples. It was meant to shake them as it is meant to shake us now. If we want to follow Jesus, we should set our priorities straight. We should learn to detach from worldly concerns and be concerned with the affairs of the Kingdom. In following Jesus, we need to put the concerns of others first before our own. We need to will the good of others first especially the poor, the sick, and the needy before our own. Jesus’ way is the way of the cross and selfless love. He showed us the way by treading it and giving His all. As Christians, we are called to tread the same path. Let Christ’s Resurrection be our consolation. He will never leave us. He will show us the way. He has been there before and finished victorious.
The Gospel Today
Matthew 8: 18 – 22
When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”