Missionary Weekly Reflection
Twenty Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, 08 September 2019
Wis. 9:13-18; Ps. 90:3-4,5- 6,12-13,14,17; Phil. 9b-10,12-17; Luk. 14:25-33
Last week it was about feast, today is about journey. From sitting together with religionist, Jesus walked with the crowd (v. 25). He continued His journey to the cross. He must clarify the purpose of this journey: Being a disciple (v. 26, 27, 33) means to walk together with Him to the cross. First message: Enthusiasm is not enough. Large numbers haven’t proven anything. Non multa, sed multum: not quantity but quality. Jesus doesn’t want His followers to be losers who take shelter in the crowd. He wants them to be fighters who fight and sacrifice for His Purposes. He challenged them to move from mass religion to involved and personal faith. Being God’s disciple is not just a matter of being registered as a member, but indeed a decision to carry the cross (v. 27). Jesus’ authentic followers will definitely carry the burden, trouble and humiliation because of his faith. Cross is not only a symbol of our religion, but it is a characteristic of the journey of daily faithful life as His disciple.
The Second message was very strong: must “hate” your father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters even our own life. Hyperbole style of language is used to draw the audience’s attention to the core of the message. Following Jesus must always be a priority, even from family relationship and friendship to one’s own life. Jesus is not talking about emotional hatred due to anger or grudge. He talks about choice and priority in life. Family and relative form someone’s identity: he was born, given a name, raised, married, buried, etc, in and by the family. Family is someone’s identity and life. So, what’s being staked is life and identity: Where does a Christian receive his life and identity? Only one answer: From Jesus and His cross!
The third message is also radical: detaching from all possessions. This is one of Luke’s distinctive themes. Luke normally concreted the attitude of being free from property in two ways, first: by dedicating the possession for the welfare of the church and its community (cf. Acts 2:44; 4:32). Second, by sharing with others in need (cf. Luke 18; 19:8; Acts. 2:45, etc). This message remains relevant in the midst of our world, where money and property become the king. You exist, if you have them. Possession determines your identity. Jesus’ message once again touches our identity: the identity of being His follower is not from what we have, but because we give and share.
Following the “God’s way” (Acts 9:2) is not easy. His requirement and demand are very radical. Therefore each of us have to be wise: “sit” first (vv. 28 and 31) to make calculation. Having discernment before making a commitment is important in the journey of faith. In peaceful mind thinking about it in order to sort and distinguish the spirits. In order to avoid making God’s way turn into “my project” that leads the service to a mere show. If so, instead of carrying the cross, I will become the cross and crucify others. Enthusiasm and just being in the crowd are not enough. Mass discipleship and without calculation will be fatal: I will be laughed (v. 30), others can be affected (v. 31).
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Protection to the sea: May all politicians, scientists, economists be able to work together in protecting and conserving the ocean and world sea. We pray…
For Indonesian Church intention:
Joyful Herald: By constantly appreciating the Holy Bible, may all Catholics be enabled to interpret each profession as an opportunity to be a Joyful Herald to all human kinds. We pray…
May the people in our Diocese always give thanks to the accompaniment of the angels who are Lord’s messenger as the expression of Divine Providence so that Divine wisdom would support the Church. We pray…