Reflection from Fr. Taylor: June 26, 2016, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I will follow you wherever you go.”  Today’s readings are all about following.  We read from the prophet Elijah as He calls Elisha who leaves everything to follow Him.  Paul tells the Galatians to renounce their selfish desires and to follow the Holy Spirit who will make them truly free.  In the gospel account, three men, the disciples volunteered to follow Jesus but He reminds them that it is going to cost for where He is going there is no fixed address and they must come on board immediately leaving family and friends behind.

This sets up a scenario where it seems that following Christ is demanding.  Is it really as hard as Jesus makes it out to be?  Probably most of us don’t think of religion as making too many demands on us.  We know that our faith can be pretty safe and a simple way to fit in.  Used in this way we do not get the most out of it.

Life brings us many challenges where we have to make some hard decisions.  Christianity can call us to be different. It can call us to be counter-cultural.  Our own search in this life and meaning has to go far beyond just making money and consumption.  We have to stand on the sacredness of all life against the pervasive culture of death.  We renounce abortion, euthanasia, suicide, and capital punishment.  We are also a church that stands firm in our belief that it is necessary to take care of the poor.  This is not an option it is a moral stand.  Often when we stand up for them we can provoke resentment and outright hatred.  Living up to standards of Christian morality isn’t always difficult but from time to time it may call for major sacrifice unselfishness and self restraint.  These are words that some people never like to hear.

There is much joy that we can have in life especially when we can see the good that it can do for others.  Yes the road to Jerusalem is a difficult one and Jesus asks His disciples to make decisions.  The events of these last couple of weeks have taught us as well about the value of life.  We have to uphold the decency and good in everyone.  We pray for all the victims of Orlando this year, Charleston S. C. last year and all the other events which have been so demeaning to life.  We do our own part by promoting peace, love, justice and as our Holy Father tells us mercy.





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