Here is my homily from Wednesday. God bless each of you!
From what I can tell, everyone here, except for probably a couple, are in our 50s or later. As I get older, I begin to become a bit more reflective about life. Like St. Paul in our first reading, I begin to wonder if I have run the good race and fought the good fight for the faith.
St. Paul, in writing to the Phillippians, knew he probably faced death in the not to distant future, and I suspect he began to reflect on his life and his ministry. Had he fought hard and born fruit for the Church and the faith?
In our Gospel, we hear Jesus tell us that unless we are willing to lay it all on the line, consciously risk all that we have, renouncing even that which is most precious to us, unless we venture it all for the faith, we cannot be his disciples. Challenging words!
God is like that though, isn’t He? He is challenging. His words are beautiful to hear, but challenging to live. He demands our faith in his goodness, his love, his benevolence to us. The challenge is to be willing to renounce everything to be his disciple. His promise is eternal life if we do.
The love of God has been poured into our hearts. What more do we need?
Follow him! Be his disciples! The grace to accept the challenge comes freely. Let us accept and believe and follow!