Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
To be Christ’s disciple requires tremendous courage. It is a courage that can only come from God. Christ provides truth-in-advertising about the pains we will face by following Him. Jesus today reminds me of a Jesuit novice master who told the bright-eyed novices on their first day: “Make no mistake, this life will cost you everything.” The same logic holds for any real vocation in Christ. Surely raising children, keeping a marriage together, or living a Christian professional life will cost us everything. If we want to be Christ’s disciple, we cannot escape His Cross. This means taking upon us not only the sufferings of our own life, but also those of our neighbors, the poor and the outcast.
Yet we dare not try to carry this Cross of Christ on our own. Only His grace can give us the courage to carry out His mission. What are the pains that I will face this week? What are my fears as I face the Cross? As you imagine yourself under these burdens, see Christ at your side, helping you to carry these things through His strength. Above all, contemplate His look of infinite love for you. You are His friend, the beloved child of His Father. As much as we give Him, he cannot be outdone in generosity. If we have given him everything, how much more will He give us?