Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time

What can I put aside this week that distracts me from living out my faith? What can I do to express my commitment to the Lord?

Today’s readings are about God’s call and man’s commitment in answer to that call. They ask one for total commitment made in total freedom with the spirit of patient love, -- that is, to say an unconditional “Yes” to Jesus and to the Christian life, as a true disciples of Christ.

The first reading describes how Elisha committed himself whole-heartedly to answer God’s call to be a prophet, in spite of his initial hesitation, when God called him through the prophet Elijah.

The Responsorial Psalm, (Psalm 16), offers us the refrain, “You are my inheritance, O Lord." This Psalm has traditionally been used to exemplify commitment to the ordained ministry or to religious profession. But it more accurately reflects the commitment made by all Christians in their Baptism.

The second reading, taken from Paul's letter to the Galatians, reinforces the commitment message of the first reading and the Responsorial Psalm. Paul warns that true freedom is not meant to be a license for selfindulgence, but to be a way to show God, ourselves, and other human beings our commitment to God and to His service.

The first part of today’s Gospel records Jesus’ teaching on Christian tolerance, given after he had observed an angry response of two of his apostles., James and John, who were angry at the Samaritans who had refused to receive Jesus as a prophet and allow him to travel through their village because Jesus was travelling to Jerusalem. They asked Jesus if he wanted them to bring down fire from Heaven to destroy them!

In the second part of today’s Gospel, Luke introduces three potential disciples who offered lame reasons that made Jesus’ call to ministry “impossible” for them to accept, after Jesus had told them plainly what the commitment required, and the cost involved. They were found unfit and unprepared to follow Jesus as his disciples. We too, are asked to follow Jesus, totally and immediately, without any reservations, both by giving priority to him and to his cause and by surrendering our lives to God in humble and dedicated service to others.

LIfe's Mesage

As Christians, we should have the courage of our convictions and so honor our commitments:

a) The marriage commitment. The spouses are expected to honor their marriage commitment, that is, to remain in mutual love and respect till their death and to raise their children to be zealous Christians.

b) The priestly and religious commitment: Priests, Deacons and religious should honor the commitment they have made to obey their lawful superiors, to keep their vows, and to spend their lives serving God’s people faithfully.

c) The Christian commitment: As Christians, all of us should honor our Baptismal commitment, and to bear witness to him through ideal and transparent Christian lives.

Commitment in marriage

One of the most popular songs in weddings today is Steven Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here."

The song is a simple declaration by Chapman that no matter what their marriage goes through, he will be there for his wife. Sadly, Chapman was inspired to write this song for his wife after he learned that his own parents were divorcing. As Chapman says, "Seeing the pain of my parents' divorce caused Mary Beth and me to ask ourselves how we could prevent this in our marriage. We spent many hours together in prayer and through that process came to understand that to love and forgive unconditionally on a daily basis is the only way a marriage can last.

“Tomorrow mornin' If you wake up And the sun Does not appear I, I will be here If in the dark We lose sight of love Hold my hand And have no fear 'Cause I, I will be here”