Sept. 03, 2017 - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Discipleship demands decision!! But not just decision. Discipleship also demands action. Deny, take, and follow are verbs. Each requires that we do something.
We must deny our very selves, take up our cross and follow Jesus.
Denying ourselves is not necessarily like giving something up for Lent. Let's look at Jeremiah the prophet to get a better idea of what it means. Listen to Jeremiah, “You duped me, Lord, and I let myself be duped. You overpowered me.”
And so I gave myself over to you. I let go. I let go of my own wants. I let go of my own desires. I let go of my own will. I denied myself. I gave myself over to you Lord. And you took me.
Once we allow our own wills to give way to the Lord’s will, then we are called to take up the cross. Taking up your cross is work. Saint Paul says, “I offer myself as a pleasing sacrifice.”
To offer myself, I must take up my cross. I must do good. The cross is bearing hardship without complaint. The cross is doing good for the sake of doing good.
The cross is what two guys said on national television when they were called heroes for rescuing people in Houston. One said, “I’m not a hero.” The other said, “We’re doing this because these people need our help.”
And finally, the Lord says, “Follow me.” Following means allowing ourselves to be led by another.
We must allow ourselves to be led on the path which the Lord has chosen for us. Pope Francis has said, “Let us allow ourselves to be humbly led by the Holy Spirit in order to avoid taking the wrong road and closing our hearts.
Even if our hearts are closed and we are on the wrong road, there is still hope for each of us. Three simple verbs. Three difficult actions.
Deny. Take up. And follow.
We can turn to Jesus for help by denying ourselves taking up our cross and following after the Lord.
Discipleship demands decision. But more than decision, discipleship demands action.
Deny. Take up. And follow. Why? Why do these things? The answer is simple.
One day, the Son of Man will come with his angels and repay each of us according to our conduct.