Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Pius X | News
25 Jun 2022

We get great comfort from our belief in the mercy of God as revealed to us through the life and teachings of Jesus. That comfort and hope is so essential as we navigate the ups and downs of life with the reassurance that God is on our side, sharing the strength of his power and love every step of the way. We rejoice in its gift. Today, the gospel looks at the presence of God in our lives from a somewhat different perspective, as we consider who we are as disciples of Jesus. We could say that today we are invited to reflect upon the “demands” of discipleship. “Demands” is not, in many ways, an appealing word. We are asked, though, to sit with the word and the feelings and images it conjures up inside of us as we think about Jesus’ response to those would-be disciples who want to delay their response to his invitation: one, to bury his father; the other, to say “Good-bye” to those at home. They seem like reasonable requests; yet, Jesus doesn’t accept them. What is that about? In the way the gospel uses the words of Jesus to teach us, we are being told that we need to watch our tendency to put off making commitments. The time for responsible response is now. That includes those commitments to family, to work, to ourselves: all of which are aspects of discipleship. It’s not about disowning those closest to us. It’s rather—the gospel is—about looking at the excuses we use for “putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today.” Remember we mentioned at the beginning of this reflection that we get comfort and consolation from our awareness of God’s constant presence and care. That constant presence and care is most often offered to us through the presence of others, and that presence of others to us as bearers of God’s care is only assured when everyone accepts legitimate responsibility without delay. The words of Jesus are a bit tough today, but if we consider it, they reflect reality. Our considered response will ultimately be for our benefit, and, of course, for the benefit of those who rely on our generous care.