MONDAY, THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop, Martyr
Gen 18: 16-33; Ps 102: 1-4, 8-11; Mt 8: 18-22
TAKING THE STEP FORWARD
The first reading presents to us the dialogue between God and Abraham. God says, “I must go down and see whether or not they have done all that is alleged in the outcry against them that has come up to me. I am determined to know.” (Gen 18: 21). It is surprising that our Omniscient (all-knowing) God does not know and requires to inspect and then pass a judgement. Didn’t God know that there were not even ten righteous people? However, he enters into a dialogue with Abraham who tries to plead for mankind. We also see that God knew that Abraham was righteous, and thus God made him the Father of Faith.
In the Gospel, Jesus invites us to follow Him, to put a foot forward on a journey with Him. In fact, Jesus calls us each day. But out of daily experience, we know that we have hesitated to place our foot in the pathways of suffering for His name’s sake, in pathways which are not beneficial for us, in pathways where we face embarrassment from family and friends. We have hesitated sometimes, not even making an effort to move a step forward. That was also the experience of the scribe who volunteered to follow Jesus. if we’re going to follow Jesus, it’s going to cost us our worldly expectations of comfort and prosperity; because He may call us to put our foot in hard places.
God’s wants to dialogue with us, but we need to walk towards Him. It would mean separating from the things, people and events that now hold us in place. We have to say our goodbyes and forsake life as we knew it. Only then will we be able to go to places and commitments that God has planned for us. St. John Chrysostom tells us “If Jesus forbade him (the scribe)… it was to make us realize that nothing is more important than the things of Heaven and that we ought to cleave to these and not to put them off even for a little while, though our engagements be ever so indispensable and pressing”.
Response: The Lord is compassionate and gracious.
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