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Sunday, September 8, 2013

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23rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Wisdom 9:13-18
Philemon 9-10, 12-17
Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17
Luke 14:25-33

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price-conscious or prize-conscious?

"Sit down and calculate the outlay..." —Luke 14:28

Jesus tells us to renounce everything exterior and interior: all our possessions (Lk 14:33) and our very self (Lk 14:26). The price of being Jesus' disciple is extremely high: it costs our all.

Many choose not to pay the price to be Jesus' disciple. This choice results in disaster. If we won't voluntarily pay the price now, we will pay it later. Our life will be a literal joke (Lk 14:29-30) as we are overrun by the enemy, Satan (see Lk 14:31-32). How sad to not renounce our possessions; when we hold them more valuable than Jesus, they only weigh us down (see Wis 9:15), and "choke" us, preventing us from bearing fruit (Mt 13:22).

Jesus tells us to count the cost, or "calculate the outlay," as we make our decision whether or not to be His disciple (Lk 14:28). He told the parable of the treasure hidden in a field with that calculation in mind. The price to purchase Jesus our Treasure is everything we have (Mt 13:44). However, He wants us to also consider the prize, life on high with Him forever (Phil 3:14).

Is it hard for you to renounce your hopes for the future? If so, you need to exchange your hopes and dreams for His. When you want what Jesus wants, you'll find you already have everything "through Him, with Him, and in Him" (see 1 Cor 3:21-23). So "fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), then keep them fixed on Him (Heb 12:2). You'll hardly notice the price when you focus on the Prize.

Prayer:  Father, grant me a complete change of heart that I may follow Jesus with greater faithfulness, zeal, and love.

Promise:  "Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple." —Lk 14:27

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith! (Heb 12:2) All glory, honor, and praise be to the Lamb of God!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013

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