• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 28 June 2019 19:43

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150

A number of years ago I “concelebrated” a wedding with a Baptist Minister. My cousin was marrying a girl who was a devout Baptist and whose parents were active in their Baptist Community. So I applied for and received a dispensation for my cousin to get married in a Protestant church by a Protestant minister and I would be there as the official witness for the Catholic Church. At the rehearsal the night before the wedding the Baptist minister said something I will never forget. He said to the wedding party: you have all been good friends to the bride and groom, but as of tomorrow you will all have to take one-step back – their spouse will become number one in their lives.

I think that in some ways Jesus was saying the same thing to the men in today’s gospel who wanted to be His disciples. They wanted to go around with him, healing and preaching the coming of the kingdom of God. But they could not do it immediately. Each had a good reason for delaying this invitation to follow just at that moment. But Jesus was saying to them: if you really want to be my disciples now, then you must put aside your other concerns and I must become number one in your lives.

By reason of our baptism we are all called to be disciples of Christ. It does not mean that we are all called to leave everything behind and join Him in announcing God’s love and forgiveness and bring healing to others. Some certainly are called to be His followers in that sense. There are many men and women who have left home and family behind and given their lives to bringing healing and God’s love to people who have not yet heard this Gospel message. All through the history of the Church there have been hermits, monks, priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people who have been called to be missionaries just as Jesus Himself left all behind to preach God’s healing and love. My heroes when I was growing up were those missionaries who indeed left all behind. I can remember that even as a 13-year-old minor seminarian, when I was told that I could not go home for the weddings of my sisters and brother (even though the seminary was only 60 miles from my home) I took it for granted that this is what God was asking of me – to leave behind my “family celebrations” in order to be available to be a follower of Christ.

However, Jesus calls us to be His followers in different ways. Sometimes it is in choosing a career of service to others, sometimes it is in doing volunteer work when we are able, sometimes it is in being present to others when they need support. In the 16th century St. Francis de Sales wrote a remarkable book called An Introduction to a Devout Life. He says that we are all called to be holy, but not in the same way. He uses the example of a bishop who might try to be holy by imitating contemplatives or a contemplative who might try to be holy by imitating the constantly active person.

I have discovered over the years that the way we carry out our calling in life often determines how we are to become holy. Parents are called to be holy in a way different from people who are not parents; married people will grow holy in a different way from a single person; the farmer or factory worker will become holy in a different way from the academic; and people with severe physical or mental limitations are called to be holy in their own unique way. This was brought home to me by a close friend. I had known her parents very well and had celebrated her own wedding. At a certain point her mother developed Alzheimer’s Disease and her father had to become a full-time care-giver for her. She said: Larry, that adds a whole new perspective on what it means to be faithful. It was his way of following Jesus and becoming holy.