Soul Food for Young Adult Communities: Sept.8th 2013, Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Gospel: Luke 14:25-33. Click here for Mass Readings for this Sunday.
(Editor’s Note: This weekend, we are all ‘in continuous prayer together with Mary the Mother of Jesus’, for all the people of Syria, in their time of great suffering, and praying for peace on this Feast of the birth of Our Lady, Sept. 8th. Pope Francis has called on all Catholics throughout the world to pray for peace,- and invited people of other Christian denominations, and people of other faiths, to pray and fast for peace in Syria.)
(This week’s reflection is by John Doone, a student in his early twenties. Thanks John!)
Stand Firm in the Stampede
I don’t know about you but I love a bargain. There’s nothing better than getting something on sale! Of course it’s the same T-shirt, but obviously just cheaper. You’ll still look smashing in it but the secret is, only you know you haven’t spend big bucks on it and what a nice feeling having a little extra cash in the back pocket.
In finding that bargain you gotta dig in and shop around. When I can’t find what I’m looking for I may be tempted to give up and just pay over the odds for a similar t-shirt, ending up walking away short changed. “Only if I had have stuck to my guns and waited for the shop’s sale next week”, I say in hindsight.
Would you agree that we all are searching for something in life? Have you ever asked the question “what’s it all about?” Ok you may not have used those specific words but I’m sure you’ve wondered where in life you are going, why that relationship didn’t work out or what’s this entire faith stuff mean to me? We all have done that. I think we really ask these questions on our road of life so we can find more meaning and have more purpose.
In searching for these big questions it can be tiring, maybe leaving us feeling hopeless at times. Especially in big crowds. So many advertisements – which way? Which one? It’s easy to feel like just giving up and going with what the crowd is doing. “Aha yes, they look content, maybe I’ll copy them,” we say.
When Jesus was travelling from town to town teaching people the Good News that many desperately needed to hear in their lives, a large crowd began to follow him. Now I must mention this crowd just wasn’t geographically following Jesus from one destination to the next. I think Luke is telling us that whatever Jesus was teaching, it had impacted on their lives so much that they wanted to put His words of wisdom into action and live them out in their lives. This is called discipleship. It’s when you try your best to follow Jesus – becoming his hands and feet for others in your community.
Jesus was a smart man and he knew that our lives can be contradictory at times; one minute we say one thing, the next we do the complete opposite. So Jesus wanted to emphasise that just like shopping around for that bargain, we can’t give up when the going gets tough or when we see the crowd taking the easy route to just follow because it’s the easier option. Instead we need to stand firm in our resolution and carry out our goal. This is where we see real fruition in our lives. Speaking of goals, just like in any game of football – if we take our eyes of the ball, the game is lost. Likewise – we take our eyes off the words Jesus has for our lives, and we become lost sheep looking for direction and feeling like we are in a game of tug of war between all the contradictions life sometimes places in front of our journey.
As disciples of Jesus, we know that He loves us. Always remember Jesus is rooting for you, he’s the one who hasn’t given up on you – he’s got a bargain for you, are you listening?
Take a moment to think of a time when your faith positively helped you out in a difficult situation? Did this experience give you more focus or determination? How?
Jesus, I know that you Love me, my family and friends,
Keep them safe. Help me to keep my eyes on you, especially when there is a storm in my life.
Inspire me by your story of Love to help those less fortunate than I, and in turn Love you.
Have you a friend or friends you can share this with,- read it, think about it, argue about it, fight about it, – and then pray about it?