Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

The wisdom writer asks a question long on the human mind, “Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?” We can spend our whole life pondering God but unless we pick up our plough and labor in the Lord’s vineyard, we will achieve nothing of significance.

Teresa of Calcutta, suffered for 50 years, believing that God had abandoned her, yet she gave the world a way to hope and be joyful in giving. John Neumann left his native Bavaria because no one needed his priestly service, he traveled from New York, to Buffalo, through Pennsylvania, New Jersey and back to Baltimore on horseback so people could hear Mass. Teresa and John labored heroically to give the world the dignity and respect all human beings deserve and the Sacraments they so richly seek.

These saints started by picking up the cross they were given and using that cross as an opportunity. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Discipleship, my dear friends, is not a passive reply to the calling of Christ to be holy. Discipleship is instead an active and motivated response to an encounter with Jesus that significantly changes our life.

Discipleship is the work of every Christian. It is taking the Gospel apart and living each verse, each chapter as if it were your own. The Christian disciple realizes that the virtuous life revolves around the life of Jesus and that the only joy in this world comes from imitating Christ.

The wisdom writer asks a question long on the human mind, “Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends?” The Christian knows because he dares to work in the Lord’s vineyard. The Christian can conceive His Will because he looks at God in the face of another.

 

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