fit for God's kingdom
This weekend's readings are all about discipleship: what it means to faithfully follow Jesus.
The first reading gives us a good look of what it means to go all in. Before Elisha follows Elijah he kills his oxen, uses his plowing equipment to cook the meat, and gives the meat away. Elisha has no life left behind: it's all about God and his purposes from now on!
Jesus shows us what this all in looks like. When a would-be disciple asks Jesus to let him bury his father, Jesus responds with characteristic directness: "Let the dead bury their dead."
This command was especially harsh for a first-Century Jew to hear, because the task of burying the dead (note: we don't know whether or not his father was still alive) was a sacred duty. In fact, burying the dead trumped all other sacred duties, including prayer!
Jesus is saying, then, that following him is the most important - and necessary - thing anyone can do.
Following Jesus must be our life's number one priority. How do we do this?
We need to pray, sharing our whole heart and life with Jesus.
We have to live every moment for him, wanting to please him in everything we think, say, and do.
More than anything, we should live in thanksgiving for the merciful love God shows us as we try to bring this same patient, forgiving love to life for everyone we encounter.
Commit to trusting and following Jesus today. That's how we'll be made fit for God's kingdom!
δοῦλος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ
PS We’re getting closer to our beautiful parish feast! Join us for the Feast of OLMC on July 14! It will feature a procession after the 11:15am Mass with a gathering in Gordon Hall afterwards for our annual pot-luck lunch.
PPS Many thanks to Father Tom Rekiel and Monsignor George Hundt - and our own Father Ed Dillon - for giving me a bit of a breather this weekend!