23rd Sunday Ordinary Time Scripture Reflections

The scripure readings for this Sunday and some commentary can be found here

The gospel for this Sunday is a hard one to understand .




"Any one who comes to me without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes his own life too, cannot be my disciple. "


Then came help from two sources; the first is the CAFOD weekly reflection which is reproduced below
 
 








"The story is told of a bishop who once lamented: ‘wherever Jesus went there was a revolution; wherever I go people serve tea!"
In this gospel reading you can see why Jesus might cause something of a revolution. 

It seems a very harsh cost of discipleship that we might need to hate members of our own family.

Perhaps Jesus was talking about what St Ignatius describes as ‘indifference’.
In essence this means that we put our hopes, desires, aspirations and loves at the service of God. 

It means that if there are people or possessions who are not helping us to draw closer to God, then we might need to let go of them.

This is where we need the wisdom which is talked about in Sunday’s first reading (Wisdom 9:13-18). 
We need a spirit of wisdom to help us discern what helps us in our relationship with God and what hinders us. 
We need a spirit of openness which will allow us to see what is damaging to our relationship with God and others.

Some of us are called to renounce everything, sell all we have and take up our cross. 


Most of us though, are called to live lives of simplicity, sharing what we have – gifts, resources, time – so that all our brothers and sisters, the wider human family, and all of creation can flourish and live life to the full.

God,

we pray for your wisdom to discern what it is you are asking of us. Inspire us to be generous in love and open in spirit.

Amen."

 
The second source of help in unravelling the meaning of the gospel came from this unusual and intriguing article which uses Darwinian theory to give insight into why Jesus may be asking us to downplay our family values.




















First Reading:  Wisdom 9 : 13-18b


Who can know God's counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.



For the corruptible body burdens the soul
and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.
And scarce do we guess the things on earth,
and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty;
but when things are in heaven, who can search them out?


Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom
and sent your holy spirit from on high?
And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.


1 comment:

claire said...

Most of us though, are called to live lives of simplicity, sharing what we have – gifts, resources, time – so that all our brothers and sisters, the wider human family, and all of creation can flourish and live life to the full.

Yes, I very much agree with you. Thank you.