Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Be my disciple.”

To be a disciple of Jesus is to be wholly committed to his way and life. Just as for Jesus that was the way of laying down his life for us all, so we too must be prepared follow him.

The question that follows from the decision to be a disciple is what is the cost? Jesus instructs us to work out whether or not we are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to be a disciple. What gets in the way of following the Lord? If we are invested in possessions or self-interest, then Jesus invites us to let them go. In doing so we become free to follow the one our heart desires.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant/child is listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

 

Sunday.

Great crowds accompanied Jesus on his way and turned and spoke to them. ‘If any one comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-26)

  • Reflect on what the crowds expected as they accompanied Jesus.
  • What does the idea of disciple mean to you?
  • Has your family ever got in the way of following Jesus?
  • What is Jesus saying to you about your family?

 

Monday.

Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)

  • How have experienced the cross in your life?
  • Reflect on Jesus carrying the cross alongside you.
  • What is the hardest thing for you as a disciple?
  • Listen to the Lord’s invitation to follow him.

 

Tuesday.

This is Paul writing, an old man now and, what is more, still a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for a child of mine, whose father I became while wearing these chains: I mean Onesimus. (Philemon 9-10)

  • Who most commonly asks you for your help?
  • Reflect on the ways in which you can help others.
  • Paul is old and in chains. Reflect on your own state of life.
  • Listen to Christ Jesus as he appeals to you.

 

Wednesday.

I did not want to do anything without your consent; it would have been forcing your act of kindness, which should be spontaneous. (Philemon 14)

  • Have people done things to you without you consent?
  • Reflect on what it is like to be forced into something.
  • How much of your kindness is spontaneous?
  • Listen to the Lord who is gentle and loving.

 

Thursday.

Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants. (Psalm 89:12-13)

  • Have ever felt that God is angry with you?
  • What feels unrelenting in your life?
  • What wisdom of heart do you need most of all?
  • Listen to him who shows pity.

 

Friday

What (wo)man can know the intentions of God? Who can divine the will of the Lord? The reasonings of mortals are unsure and our intentions unstable.  (Wisdom 9:13-14)

  • How do you discern God’s will in your life?
  • How confident are you in your reason and intentions?
  • Have you ever mistakenly thought something was God’s will?
  • Listen to the Lord who desires your good.

 

Saturday 

As for your intention, who could have learnt it, had you not granted Wisdom and sent your holy spirit from above? Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and (wo)men been taught who pleases you, and saved, by Wisdom. (Wisdom 9:17-18)

  • When have you experienced being granted wisdom from above?
  • Reflect on the Gift of Wisdom from Confirmation.
  • When have you known the presence of the Holy Spirit?
  • Listen to the one who teaches you wisdom and love.
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