SOUL FOOD FOR YOUNG ADULT COMMUNITIES: JUNE 30TH 2013. THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C.
Letter to Sinead, Mark, and their Friends,- young adults who are searching, today.
Dear Sinead, Mark and Friends,
‘To go the whole hog’ means to give it everything you have. And Jesus goes the whole hog
in today’s episode in Chapter 9 of Luke. We are told: ‘Jesus resolutely set his face for Jerusalem’. This verse is actually the turning point in St. Luke’s Gospel,- everything from here on, in the Gospel, is pointing towards Jerusalem and what would happen there. He had just told his disciples what lay ahead of him,- he would go up to Jerusalem, be rejected, be put to death,- and after all of this great suffering, he would rise from the dead. He ‘set his face’ for what lay ahead of him, and chose it with a heart and a half: nothing was going to stop him. He was ready to ‘go the whole hog’, to give it his all.
And then various people offered to follow him, but with excuses,- ‘I will, but!’ ‘I must do X, or do Y, and then, only then, will I follow you.’ They were lame in their following of Jesus. And he rejected that. If you want to be with me, then will you ‘go the whole hog’, and give it your very all?
Jesus doesn’t go in for small measures, then or now, – for himself or for his disciples. He asks for everything! There’s a wholeness in his invitation to each one of us,- to you, to me. And this wholeness of giving is life-giving. Letting everything go is finding more than everything (‘a hundred-fold’) in exchange!
See what Psalm 15 says, today: can you pray it? ‘O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup, it is you yourself who are my prize. You are my God… I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; you will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence.’ There’s fullness of joy in giving one’s whole self to follow Jesus. And there are young hearts out there that are ready to answer the call in their hearts, and ‘go the whole hog’ for Jesus, and for the kingdom of God (God’s dream for our world.).
And Paul, to the young Christian community in Galatia (where Celts lived at that time): ‘When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Do not submit again to slavery. Serve one another in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. … If you are guided by the Spirit, if you are led by the Spirit, you will be in no danger of yielding to self indulgence, since self indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit.’
From the Alleluia Verse: ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening!’ were the words of young Samuel, still only a boy, but totally given already, even at age 7 or 8. Samuel wanted to ‘go the whole hog’ with God. ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’ Hear ‘Speak O Lord’ on Youtube, that picks up on this Listening heart. Click here.
A tough Gospel, this one today. But then, Jesus never said that following him would be easy- just that it would be great!
Discuss this with a friend or a few friends. See how it speaks to your young lives. Jesus is always, in each generation, looking for people who will ‘go the whole hog’, for the kingdom of God in the world.
Thanks. Pray for me, that I will respond to him as He wants.
Fr. Seamus. firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Comments are welcome!