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Carry our cross, not our stuff Print E-mail
Written by Jean Denton   
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016

Twenty-third Sunday
in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18b
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-17
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33

In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds us that we can’t be his disciples, genuinely imparting his message and spirit, unless we are detached from our possessions.

OK, we think, we can eschew materialism and strive not to be influenced by the endemic consumerism of popular culture. We can share what we have with others. Yes, we can do that and so become effective disciples.

But what about the "possessions" that we think of as our daily bread: job, income, home -- the things that provide our basic security? Becoming separated from those things can make it hard to listen and attend to God's Spirit.

I saw it happen to a close friend of mine, a professional, when circumstances created a serious, unexpected reduction in his income. Approaching the end of his career, he saw his savings depleted and retirement plans dashed.

Suddenly, he felt that everything he'd worked for was lost, and he was overwhelmed by fears about his future.

Most of us have experienced a situation in which an unexpected crisis hits and lays us low.

Often it can be so defeating that we can't feel God’s presence or hear the gentle guidance of Jesus within us.

Today's reading from the Book of Wisdom describes the difficulty. "The corruptible body burdens the soul," Wisdom says, explaining, "The earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns."

It's not so much that we are materialistic but that our concerns about even basic material matters hinder us from looking into our souls for answers from God. Jesus wants us to let go of those matters that weigh down our ability to follow him.

My friend eventually let go of his fears, accepting the fact of financial insecurity, and trusted God to carry him forward. Wisdom notes, "The deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans."

Jesus calls us to carry our cross, not our stuff. He asks us to carry our uncertainty and insecurity and trustingly follow him. That's the cross he can help us carry.


This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

 
Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
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Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
 
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Sports
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August Evangelization Intention

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The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2016.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Friday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 5
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Monday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption (abrogated because it falls on Saturday)
Tuesday, Nov. 1
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Thursday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Sunday, Dec. 25
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photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.

Amen.

 
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