“Our Christian destiny is, in fact, a great one: but we cannot achieve greatness unless we lose all interest in being great. For our own idea of greatness is illusory, and if we pay too much attention to it we will be lured out of the peace and stability of the being God gave us, and seek to live in a myth we have created for ourselves. And when we are truly ourselves we lose most of the futile self-consciousness that keeps us constantly comparing ourselves with others in order to see how big we are.”
~Excerpted from No Man is an Island by Fr. Thomas Merton, OCSO
Monday, June 27 ~ Thirteenth Week in the Season of Ordinary Time
Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Holy Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22 When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Meditation: When the Lord Jesus calls us to follow him, he invites us into a personal relationship of love and friendship. That relationship also involves the commitment of our entire lives to Jesus as Lord and Master, Teacher and Healer, Messiah and Savior. To follow Jesus is the greatest of all calls. What an awesome privilege and an awesome responsibility to be a disciple of Jesus Christ! What does it cost to be a disciple? For the first disciples, they paid the ultimate price for being a follower of Jesus by not renouncing Christ as Lord, Savior, Messiah; by not renouncing Christ’s teachings; by being steadfast disciples of Christ. A disciple must be willing to make sacrifices, even the sacrifice of his own life to follow Jesus as his Master and Lord. Notice how another would-be disciple responded by saying that he must first bury his father, that is go back home and take care of his father until he died. Jesus appealed to the man’s heart and told him to detach himself from whatever might keep him from following as his disciple.
Prayer: O God, who made the Bishop Saint Cyril of Alexandria an invincible champion of the divine motherhood of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who believe she is truly the Mother of God, may be saved through the Incarnation of Christ your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Contemplation: What can keep us from giving our all to God? Fear, anxiety, self-concern, pre-occupation and attachment to other things, to name a few. Even spiritual things can get in the way of having God alone as our Treasure if we put them first. Detachment is a necessary step is we want to make the Lord our Treasure and Joy. It frees us to give ourselves without reserve to the Lord and to his service. There is nothing greater we can do with our lives than to place them at the service of the Lord and Master of the universe. We cannot out give God in generosity. Jesus promises that those who are willing to part with what is most dear to them for his sake “will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29). Is there anything holding you back from giving your all to the Lord?