Friday, September 3, 2010

Readings and Themes for the Week of September 05, 2010

Readings for Faith Sharing
Week of September 05, 2010,
Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Wisdom 9:13 – 18b
Our choices in life are timid compared to God’s choices for us.

Psalm 90
“In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge”.

Reading II Philemon 9-10. 12-17
Paul baptizes a slave and then expects the slave’s master to accept the slave as a brother.

Gospel Luke 14:14: 24-33
Do you want to be a disciple? Renounce everything else, with no reservations, no regrets.


Commitment is required to follow Jesus.

Today’s Gospel is one of the most difficult for the modern believer to understand. Jesus’ words sound too harsh. After all, isn’t this the same Jesus who gave us the law of love? As Christians, we need to struggle with these hard sayings. As we listen to these words, let us be attentive to the reminder in today’s passage from the book of Wisdom -- we simply can’t think big enough to understand the Lord’s intentions. We need the assistance of the Holy Spirit, whose presence we acknowledge in this holy place.

Questions of the week
Question for Children:
Jesus says that in order to be one of his followers, we must be close to him.
When do you feel closest to Jesus?

Question for Youth:
Jesus tells his disciples that they must renounce their possessions in order to be His disciple.
If you had to, could you leave everything behind to be with God?
What would hold you back and how much of a struggle would it be?

Question for Adults:
Today’s Gospel is demanding!
How do you as a modern man or woman “denounce your possessions?” What does this mean to you?

Bulletin Bites
"Anyone who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

“Uh, Jesus, can’t I keep my iPhone4?” Jesus might point out that He
said renounce [from the Latin words re=back and nuntiare + tell, meaning: To give up a claim, right, belief, practice, way of living, feeling, etc. Jesus might add, “You may use that iPhone4, but you may not claim that it, or anything else you think you own, actually belongs to you.

Everything you think you possess comes from God and belongs to God, who wants you to have what you need to enjoy life, but not if that means others, who are in real need, must do without the necessities of life.” That is a hard concept for people who cling doggedly to their possessions to understand and accept. As stewards of all we have God expects us to work out how much we need for ourselves and those for whom we are responsible, and how much we should share with others in need. So Jesus would probably say, “Enjoy MY iPhone4, and let others enjoy it too”.