HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C (3)







HOMILY FOR THE 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR C

THEME: What it Takes and What’s Expected of a Christian Disciple

By: Fr. Anthony O. Ezeaputa, MA.

HOMILY FOR SUNDAY JUNE 26 2022

 

On the thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are invited to reflect on the call to Christian discipleship. Our Gospel reading (Luke 9:51–62) today lays out the required and expected response to God’s call.

“Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head” (Luke 9:58); “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62); and “Let the dead bury their dead” (Luke 9:60) are a few examples of what it takes and what’s expected of a Christian disciple.

To begin with, followers of Jesus must understand that Christian discipleship does not absolve them of human sufferings and challenges. They are inescapable human phenomena. Besides, it does not guarantee “worldly prosperity” in the literal sense of the word. Christian discipleship is different from being a fan or supporter of a famous person, like a politician running for office who makes many promises of a better life.

Nevertheless, Christian discipleship does not also mean that Christians won’t or shouldn’t enjoy the finest things in life. Saint James tells us of the following: “Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky” (1:17).

Instead, Christian discipleship requires a shift in focus from the material to the spiritual, the temporal to the eternal, attachment to detachment, the visible to the invisible, and man to God. It implies placing our trust and sense of security in Jesus as opposed to our money, human powers, and worldly resources. This is what Jesus means when he says to the man who wanted to follow him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head” (Luke 9:58).

Furthermore, when Jesus says, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Luke 9:60) to the man who he invited to follow him and who said, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father” (Luke 9:59), he was not disrespecting the dead. No, he was simply teaching us how to respond appropriately to his call to discipleship. Jesus demands a quick and unreserved response to his invitation. The call of God demands a solid, unshakable decision that is devoid of conditions or uncertainties.

Moreover, discipleship entails somebody leading. So, to follow Jesus is to acknowledge that he is the Lord and we are unable to dictate the conditions for following him. Our Lord and Master, Jesus, is the one who establishes the terms and conditions for us, his disciples. Our task, as disciples, is to simply follow him without any questions, conditions, or hesitance.

Additionally, Jesus wants his followers to understand the seriousness of the tasks and challenges ahead of them as his disciples. So, he used the image of the man who has his hand on the plow and must be focused on what he is doing. Hence, he says, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
Jesus never said that following him was a walk in the park.

Rather, he said, “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). Following Jesus means persevering through difficulties. He says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Christian discipleship always entails hard work, sacrifices, and trials. But he says, “He who perseveres till the end will reap the reward of everlasting life” (Matthew 24:13).

To conclude, let’s give thanks to God today for calling us to Himself through the Church, particularly through the Sacrament of Baptism, and through everyone who points us in His direction. Let us also acknowledge that God has given us all we need to follow him. So, let’s resolve right now that nothing will hinder us from responding to God’s calls. May Our Lady, the Mother of Christians, intercede for us.

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