Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dads, happy Father’s Day. I was blessed to have an absolutely wonderful father. He quit his truck driving job at age 38; he bought the local drug store and then with determination, he entered college to get a degree in pharmacy. Fathers, please inspire your children! Let us encourage the fathers in our community to be their best.
One day when Jesus was praying in seclusion and his disciples were with him, he put the question to them, “Who do the crowds say that I am? “ If we asked the crowds now, we would get a variety of answers from “a religious leader” to “the savior and Son of God”. But what people say, and what they really think, is often different. People brought up in church will tell you what they learned from Sunday school or from the sisters. How they live out their real beliefs is often different. I would suggest that the lived relationship with Jesus is often: “my insurance agent”. There is a level of trust that has the individual call on God when there is a problem with: health, job loss, death in family, anxiety disorder, or other problems; they call on the Lord to help them out in time of need, but otherwise pay little attention to that “contract”. Those who become serious about becoming followers of Jesus, seek to understand the call of God in their lives, and they ask for the strength to be able to faithfully live out that call. Jesus does not sugar coat the challenge: “Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in my steps. Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” We become fellow travelers with Jesus (our friend and our guide) on this difficult journey up the mountain of God. The Lord calls us beyond our personal desires (unless those are spiritual desires); no, our challenge is to become like Jesus, sharing in his cross and only then in his glory.