33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
So I gotta ask did you really just mean that? You just said Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ after He told you…”Nation will rise against Nation. Kingdom against Kingdom. There will be earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place. CAN I GET an AMEN. Sometimes we hear the word of God and wonder is this really good news. I mean, really, Jesus said, “You will be handed over by your relatives, your friends and they will put you to death. You will be hated because of my name. Don’t you just want to say it again, Praise you Jesus, Glory to you Lord. Yeah, probably not, but surely He’s just being dramatic, He’s putting on to make a scene, to teach a lesson.
Or is He? Time and again we find the Lord separating the sheep from the goats, saying stuff like whoever is not for me is against me, let the dead bury the dead, but you follow me– what’s His deal was Jesus just picked last a lot when the good Jewish boys were making teams for kickball. Or is the point that He is making that to be a follower of 2
Christ, to be a discipline, it is takes a firm and conscious act of the will. It means sacrificing what the world calls good, what the world calls success for a whole other standard.
Greg and Julie Alexander were considered the Alpha couple they were both very attractive, they had 2 kids, a big house, nice cars, and were making tons of money…but their marriage was a nightmare and after 12 years they could barely stand being in the same room together let alone sleep in the same bed. They had bought whole sale into what the world told them a successful marriage looked like and it was a complete and miserable failure. IT didn’t just not work, it made life a drudgery. So as an absolute last resort when vacations, and distractions weren’t working they finally consulted the church. They got in touch with a priest, they started reading the bible, and the catechism, they started to discover what marriage was all about and how God was the essential element to making it all work. They quit their 6 figure jobs on the same day and said Lord into your hands we 3
give our future and since that day they have brought about healing to others through their story. They now have authored a book and travel around the country giving talks and offering retreats. The reality is all of us are called to a vocation and what that means is our life is meant to be lived in a conscious way that leads to the praise and glory of God, not the praise and glory of ourselves. This is a call to give witness.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a bit where he talks about that studies have said speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number fear of the average person, number one was death, which at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket then giving the homily. It works for me because just ask Fr. Tony, I traded out my mattress for a coffin the day I became a priest. But the reality is nobody, no matter who you are likes to be put on the spot. We all dread standing before others having to give an answer to something we potentially don’t know. And yet this is exactly what Jesus desires for us. He longs for us to have faith enough to trust him with our lives. Now, I’m not saying 4
He’s going to spontaneously give us the answer to our Algebra homework, or solve our company’s bottom line, but when our lives become a living testimony of His presence, even if not perfectly, we can be confident that He will lead us.