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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time — Sept. 4, 2022

Bishop’s Reflections

September 4, 2022

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time — Sept. 4, 2022

Today Jesus talks about the high cost of discipleship. Yes, to follow Jesus requires great sacrifice.

First, Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” These are difficult words for us to hear. Jesus is using ancient Jewish hyperbole to make an important point. It is manner of speaking to make it clear that we must love God above all others. Yes, we must love God more than father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even more than our very selves. God must take first place in our hearts. We cannot approach God with half-hearted affection. This is a sacrifice.

Second, Jesus tells us, “Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciples.” This cross is the result of following Jesus with faith — and flows from our desire to love God above all things. Discipleship will necessarily entail some suffering and sacrifice.

Third, Jesus tells us, “anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” We must not only love God above all others, we must also learn to be detached from our material goods and love God above all things — and at times give of our material goods to those who are more in need than we are. Again, this is a cost of discipleship.

Using a parable about the need to consider what is needed before going into a construction project, and another parable about a king deciding to go to war against an enemy, Jesus also points out that to be his disciple will require some thought, deliberation, and decision-making. Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart. May he give us the courage we need to follow him, love him, and serve him. May we have the heart to give ourselves to him, for him, and with him.

Have a blessed week everyone and Happy Labor Day Weekend.

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