23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, 4th September 2016

Following Jesus

This week’s readings continue the theme of discipleship explored  on recent Sundays by asking us to reflect on the priorities we set for our lives.  As a follower of Jesus, how do I decide where to spend my time, resources and energy?  How am I to choose?

The First Reading tells us that we cannot come to know the intentions of God through our own ways of thinking and acting.  It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit who guides and teaches us that we are able to learn what is pleasing to God.

The Psalm speaks of our littleness before the immensity of God.  Yet God is our refuge.  The Psalmist prays that we may know the shortness of our life so that we may use the time we have wisely.

The Second Reading shows St Paul writing as an old man, enduring imprisonment for his role in preaching the Gospel.  He describes himself as “a prisoner of Christ Jesus”.  Paul has the freedom and purity of heart to want only what God wants, whatever the cost.

In the Gospel, we hear Jesus using the exaggerated language of his time to emphasise that nothing is more important than following him as his disciple.  Jesus asks us to know the cost of discipleship and to be prepared to put following him as our first priority.

Lord, help me to grow in freedom and trust so that, more and more, I am able to put your ways and your values first in my life.