Gospel Reflection for the 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – September 8th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on our parish website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and he turned and spoke to them. ‘If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it? Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish.” Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand? If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace. So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’
Giving up possessions is a huge demand of Jesus. It can be misunderstood and cause grief. What Jesus means is that we identity what it is in us that may block us being his disciples. Wealth may be comfort, status in society or the church, security, or whatever centres our concerns, and whatever keeps us from acting justly with others.
Created in the likeness of God, we are created good. In each of us is the desire to nourish what is good and best in us, like we want to do the same for our children, our pupils or anyone in our care.
We nourish the good in ourselves by prayer, community, by good deeds and a good way of life. We watch the example of Jesus and listen to how he teaches us in his stories. Today he asks us to know ourselves, just like the man building a tower plans what he has and what he can do.
The Gift of our Goodness
Our goodness in life is a gift from God. We find goodness also in each other. Good people make good people better! Saints we like show us a way to God and inspire us, and even help us. The gospel is full of people trying to do their best and learning with fresh starts and after their mistakes how to follow Jesus.
Goodness is vulnerable. We can try our best and fail. We make promises that don’t last despite our best efforts. In the eyes of God goodness is in what we do and in what we try to do. God sees the goodness of the heart.
Lord give us a desire for the good in our lives and help us live by your good gospel.
Donal Neary SJ