Daily Readings Reflection for 11/04/09

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Reflection on the Daily Readings for 11/04/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 487. Wed of 31st week. Romans 13:8-10. Psalm
112:1-2. 4-5.9. Luke 14:25-33:

Luke’s narrative of the journey up to Jerusalem continues and once again
this is the part of the Luke’s long narrative that deals with discipleship.
Today it is very clear that we are learning about the criteria that makes
one a disciple of Jesus.  The reality of Jesus’ cross is applied to his
followers even though not as starkly as in St. Mark’s Gospel it is there
and is presented in a daily call from the Lord.   Jesus’ first requirement
is to put our trust entirely in God (and himself as the Son of God) and
even not to cling to our family members if that destracts us from this
trust and belief in God.  God is to be first in our lives; the rest will
follow and take its natural course in our interaction with our family
members, our brothers and sisters.  The demand is very hard and these
saying are among the most difficult that the Lord Jesus gives his
followers.  His examples in the two short parables are meant to help us to
discern carefully what he means when he says we must take up the cross and
follow him daily.  As the pericope (paragraph) ends we find another
criteria of discipleship is that of detachment from our personal
possessions. Here again the call to share and be generous toward those who
are poor is part of the call of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke–a Gospel of
prayer and poverty. Luke is always careful to point out the needs of the
poor and the need for us to do what we can for them.

In the Vatican II Constitution of the Church called Gaudium et Spes (Joy
and Hope) the pastoral concerns of the call to follow Jesus in today’s
world are emphasized.  There are some concrete and practical applications
of the criteria of discipleship.  They are extended to young people,too,
who are encouraged to give generously of their time in developing
countries. They are to collaborate with other Christians in an ecumenical
endeavor when it comes to helping and educating the poor.  Often they do
this and come back home to find they have a new vision on a more meaningful
life for themselves after having experienced people in other countries who
were helped by their technology, their education received at good
universities, and their willingness to leave their lives of relative
comfort to serve others. They are especially loved and cherished by the
children they come to help and befriend.

The people of God who are aging are also called to follow the criteria of
discipleship by their patience in their sufferings, their loneliness, and
their confinement.  Their prayer, patience, and sufferings are new forms of
carrying their cross and following Jesus more closely.  No Christian is
excluded from the call of discipleship which is so clear in the Gospels.
Amen.

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