Bulletin: June 26, 2022
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
We return to Ordinary Time this Sunday, and with this new season we focus on what it means to be a person who is called by God for some definite purpose. Elisha recognized God's call in Elijah's greeting and prepared immediately to follow. The people who came to Jesus seemed ready to follow, yet each had reasons to linger behind. As people who are given the freedom to follow or to stay behind, we must ask ourselves what we are ready to do for the sake of Christ and the call of the gospel. What are you called to do at this time in your life? Are you prepared to leave behind the things that get in the way of living as a Christian?
What does it mean to follow Jesus? The Gospels show us that Jesus called each person individually, recognizing the things that stood in the way for each. He looked into the person's heart and saw the true desires of the person standing before him. Each of us experiences Christ's call uniquely as the persons we are. For some, following requires us to take stock of our lives and let go of the obstacles that keep us from the way of true discipleship. For others, the call may lead us to deepen the way that faith directs our lives, with more intentional time in prayer, regular participation in Mass, renewed attention to family, involvement in our parish, or new acts of service.
It is easy to say we want to follow Jesus, yet most of us feel competing desires that stand in the way of discipleship. We may be distracted by the constant swirl of activity so prevalent in our surrounding culture; we might be lured by worldly wealth and the status that often accompanies it; we may simply be comfortable with the way things are and find it difficult to risk changing anything. In today's Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that we must stop putting off making the changes that will bring us closer to him and to God's way of life. We must trust in the Lord, knowing that what he most deeply desires is that we be close to him. If you encountered Jesus today and said you were ready to follow him, what would he see in your heart, what obstacles or hesitations would he perceive? Go to Jesus in prayer this day. Listen to him say, "Follow me." Prayerfully place your life in the Lord's hands and be ready to follow.