A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 14:25-33
"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, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions, cannot be my disciple." The Gospel of the Lord
Prayer: Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy, act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy, draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy, strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy, guard me then O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. (St. Augustine) prayed daily in the Missionaries of Charity
In this Gospel passage today, there is so much to pray with, to stay with-"with Jesus." Let us simply remain with these two profound words in the beginning of this Gospel passage: "with Jesus." If I want to be "with Jesus" now and enjoy his close friendship and presence what must I 'release and renounce' and say "no to" in order to say "yes to" being "with Jesus?" What must I choose to pick up and carry along with me right now (accepting it with faith), in order to remain "with Jesus?" To be "with Jesus" in my life- Is this a desire of my heart? 'Desires' will 'steer' the direction of our life. The old saying goes; Desires lead to thoughts, thoughts to actions, actions to habits, habits to character, character to the direction of one's life, direction to an 'eternal result.' What direction is your life heading? What desires lead and order your heart? Do those desires and priorities take you in the direction of being "with Jesus?" I cannot help but share a beautiful memory which comes to mind, of Mother Teresa. She was All for Jesus! She would often tell us, "Be only all for Jesus." She knew what it meant to be "with Jesus." She was so joyful! Many times over the years, I have been asked, what I remember the most about Mother? That's easy, 'How she Loved!' Mother was very present to the person before her, she looked into your eyes very deeply and directly and her bright blue eyes held such light, they penetrated you like a ray of sunlight. Her wrinkles on her face were beautiful, I mean truly beautiful, but I can't express why that is, there was something 'graced' in her face. When she smiled, which was often, her whole face smiled. Then there was her 'humanness' which was so wonderful. She loved Sees chocolates which we enjoyed on special feast days or solemnities and she loved vanilla ice-cream. She was the first one in the chapel (she always was there before us) and the last one quite oftentimes too at the close of the day. She liked to walk quickly and she fingered her rosary beads and prayed constantly when we traveled. To be with Mother, was in some way, to come close to Jesus, because she was close to Jesus. Her Priority of Jesus brought her to the end goal-the eternal result: being "with Jesus." This Sunday, Sept 4th, 2016 the Church recognizes this humble daughter of the Church, as a true Missionary disciple of Jesus- St. Teresa of Calcutta, dearest Mother, pray for us!
Do I desire to be "with Jesus?" What needs to re-ordered differently in order to be "with Jesus?" Talk with Jesus, be with Jesus, listen to Him~
Prayer: Lord, teach us goodness, discipline and wisdom and these gifts will keep us from becoming hardened by evil, weakened by laziness, or ignorant because of foolishness, we ask this in your Holy Name Jesus, Amen