Fr. Jeremy Mohler’s homily today struck a chord with me. I aim to carry his words with me because so often when I struggle with “what to do with my life” I just aimlessly ask and plead and seek but perhaps don’t have a good foundation for really asking or really listening. How about this for a foundation?:
“What are you laboring for? Is it just to make money so that you can buy more stuff? Or does your laboring work to build God’s kingdom here on earth?”
Perhaps this also struck a chord since yesterday I went to IKEA and bought more stuff and I was feeling a little guilty about it. …Balancing the Gospel message we see in Luke 14:33 (“anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple“) with real life is a constant struggle for me.
Do I long to live it out? On one hand: Yes! But I also think about having a nice home, taking care of my family, and often longing for “thing x” and so how do I live a properly balanced possession-less life while still having possessions? Fr. Jeremy’s homily was also helpful in this regard because he summarized the point of this Gospel — it is not to say that you can’t love your family or have things; it is that God should be your number one priority – the thing above all other things, even your loved ones.
This message shows us how great God’s love for us is and how great our love should be for God. Do I love my family? Incredibly so! And knowing the amount of love I have for them and knowing that I am to love God more than I love them shows me another, higher, proper-level I am to have for my love for God. God is so much beyond our human ability of comprehension and our love for Him should strive to that state of boundless, unfathomable, depthless love.
So while I struggle and get weighed down by my corruptible body and earthly shelter and my mind with many concerns — I shall remember why I am laboring and work to make sure what I do works to build up God’s kingdom on earth and places God at the center.
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.
-Wisdom 9: 13-18B
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
-Luke 14: 25-33