Wednesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time
November 4, 2020
Memorial Feast: Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-+1584) Patron Saint of Seminarians
Readings: Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians 2:12-18; Psalm 27:1,4,13-14;
St. Charles Borromeo is patron saint to seminarians, and also to catechists and catechumens. He was a a model of leadership in difficult times.
It is not easy to be a follower of Jesus. It wasn’t easy in Jesus’ own day, and it isn’t today.
Following Jesus for the original disciples meant breaking away from father, mother, wife, children, sisters, brothers, and all who chose to remain in the established Jewish synagogues. When they did leave everything behind, it amounted to taking a daring leap to follow Jesus and His Way.
Our Lord would personally give the Chosen People the definitive Word from the Father on living for the Kingdom of God. All their previous notions taken from their traditional Jewish cultural understanding must now be rethought in light of this new prophetic proclamation from God through Jesus. Today’s Gospel clearly indicates that Jesus expected His followers to make this leap— no matter what the cost.
Today, following Jesus demands a similar break from our traditional “American” cultural understand on how to live. Our culture announces that the meaning of life is to focus on individual self-interest by maximizing material prosperity and enjoying all our culture’s worldly benefits. But Jesus demands we break away from this self-centered orientation and order our lives toward living for the Kingdom of God. Living in the Kingdom means arranging our lives not for self-interest but for serving our neighbor for the love of God. Unfortunately, this break is, at times, equally costly.
The Gospel of Saint Luke asks us bluntly, “Can we 'walk the walk' as true disciples of Jesus?” The epistle and psalm provide consolation: “In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me,” and, “the Lord is my light and my salvation.”
Many reading daily my reflections may be saying to themselves, “Deacon Anthony is preaching to the choir. This reflection doesn’t pertain to me.” I agree, and God bless you for it. However, we must think about all of those fallen away disciples, especially those who are closest to us in this life, and who have placed the world and it’s cultural lures and false promises ahead of what really matters—eternal happiness in the Kingdom of God.
Question of the Day: How will you explain to others the need for discipleship in our modern world?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, we pray for the spirit of discipleship among us. We want to be Your followers who Know You, Love You, Serve You, Praise and Glorify You. Amen.