Today’s Gospel Reading is one that can be hard for some to manage. As a convert to Catholicism, I hold it dear because I chose to leave my roots and accept a transformation of heart and mind when I became Catholic as an adult. This was not without struggle or strife, and tears were shed, not just by me, but by family members as well. But even for those who have grown in the faith, there comes a time when we take it on as our own. It is no longer the faith of our mother and father, but rather it is ours.
Christ instructs us to leave everything behind—people and possessions both. This doesn’t mean we have to sever every relationship we have and enter a convent. Rather, we need to have total dedication to God without concern for attachment to people or possessions. Don’t worry about what others think, when you know you are doing what is right by God. Don’t pine for the ‘old life’—that life when you didn’t know God!
He further tells us that as we take on discipleship, we accept a life of difficulty, of suffering, and even persecution. We should enter into this discipleship understanding exactly what we are doing.
Ever the practical, Saint Paul leaves us with specific ways that we are to act once we have taken on this new life in Christ. We are to work out (our) salvation with fear and trembling. We are instructed to allow God to build the desire in us to serve Him, to do everything without grumbling or questioning.
As a mother I pray someday my own children will desire to serve the Lord and others; that they will finally work without grumbling or questioning. But really how well do I do in those areas? My desire is great, but I do my share of grumbling for sure.
So today, I challenge you to look both inside and out. Do you still pine for people—their attention or their approval maybe?
Do you covet possessions?
Do you take on the Lord’s work with grumbling or question what you know to be true?
The closer we come to being true disciples of Christ, then the closer we come to being ‘blameless and innocent’ as we ‘shine like lights of the world.’
MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here.