May the grace of Christ lift you up!
The readings offer a complexity of themes that generally flow toward the coming of God’s manifold grace and power to enlighten and lead people into a relationship of peace with God. Jesus is depicted as stepping into the prophetic vocation where John left off, however with a nuance. With Jesus, the kingdom is AT HAND; it not coming in the near future as John would say. At almost the very start of his public ministry, Jesus calls Peter and Andrew, James and John to follow him in a special way. They are called to be his disciples and for some mysterious reason, they leave everything they have to follow him. In reflecting on my own vocation and the mystery of the call that I received, I have to say that it is indeed a mystery. I had a great job and was doing well, making plans to build a house and suddenly, everything changed. I left it all behind, family, friends, pets, personal income, plus some hopes and dreams. Having said all of that, I can say with St. Paul that it has been at a cost but nothing compared to the great gain of the gift of God’s call to follow the Lord! It has been worth much more than anything I’ve left behind!
This weekend we are making a financial
commitment to support our parish and the ministries that happen through
life in the parish. In this effort, we express our discipleship and
the willingness we have to make a real sacrifice for the future of the
Church. For many of us, myself included, the idea that we should
undertake this effort at this point in time was not a welcome one. But
one thing that I have learned about discipleship is that however
difficult it may seem at first, in a short time I adjust to the demands
and grow in joy knowing that I serve the Lord and my sacrifice is known
to him who promises to reward me 30 to 100 fold. I encourage everyone
to consider what they are able to give. Many are ready to give and you
demonstrate your committed discipleship repeatedly but there are others
who give little or not at all. It shouldn’t be that way and it doesn’t
have to be. We ALL have something to give! Our way to success and our
future joy does not consist of the same people giving more; rather, it
consists in more people giving! God’s continued blessings to you all!
+++ Fr Peter