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WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME, NOVEMBER 8, 2023






Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, "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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.' Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."


REFLECTION

"everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."



No one can do any good without the grace of God. Many things in life are not in themselves evil, but capable of being used for good or ill. They can become addictive and can inhibit our spiritual growth. They can become dangerous to us if we take great delight in them. We can be so burdened in seeking out earthly devotions that we can have trouble being a disciple of God.


Sometimes, we have our own idea of what is needed to be holy and make it to heaven-- our own map or pilgrimage toward salvation. In other words we have our own rules for discipleship and as long as the rules are good in our minds, then we think it is okay with God. This last week we heard in the Gospels about obedience, charity, humility, not doing things for others to see, but to be a servant to others and now we are told to renounce all our possessions.


Just what are our possessions?


Possessions can be anything that belongs to us. First thoughts are a big house, goods that we own such as cars, yachts, clothing or multiple homes but also our reputation and esteem in the community. If we are not devoted to these possessions, but truly live for love giving to the impoverished, the hungry and the unloved then we can say I have met the goal. But what about our sins? Are they not also our possessions? Who owns our anger, our pride, our sloth, our envy, greed, lust, and our gluttony? These are our possessions as well.


On paper we might look clean but what does our heart tell about us? Is Christ present to others in the life and work that we do, how we treat others, in our love for the unloved, unwanted, lonely, the person with mental illness, the ones who made terrible decisions in their lives and now suffer the consequences? We take courage in that through the Sacrament of Confession our hearts are renewed as we renounce and repent of our sins and the desires of the heart are once again put in order.


We need to renounce sin both mortal and venial, renounce addiction and devotion to earthly possessions.


Pray for our family, friends and strangers and do all with love, never counting the cost. Then we can say we are truly His disciples. We are truly united in Him.


God Bless You



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