Every person is a unique individual. Each of us created, and will make a way through the journey of life to return home to our Creator. Each will take a uniquely personal path. Each is guided by a need for peace, and peace is the compass that will lead the way. But the journey through life is all but peaceful. For most of us it is tough.
Our journey is fraught with challenges. We try to find the best way for ourselves. Not knowingly we become self-indulgent. Along the way we encounter wealth, status and power, among other worldly things, that we think are steps toward peace. They will lead us a long way but eventually we will discover that it is the wrong way. We are lost and reset our compass to seek and search for peace.
“Follow me” says Christ in today’s Gospel; the Son of our Creator sent to guide us home. He did not come with a transaction in hand. He did not say “be a Christian” or “do this mission for me” and in exchange he will give us happiness and peace. He is not enslaving us. He came because of his unconditional love for each of us, believers and people of other faith, to generously guide us through this journey of life. He says to follow him because we are lost and he knows the way to freedom.
“When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. My brothers, you were called, as you know to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarized in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Today’s second reading)
The way out of our challenges in this worldly life is to love one another. It is opposite to self-indulgence. Love is unconditionally and unceasingly poured into us. If we keep it only for ourselves it will die. Love must flow out of us; after all love is “to will the good of the other”. When love flows, it becomes a visible tangible experience, and so, illuminate the way for us to follow him to peace.
Along his way some of us are called to be his disciples. Disciples are just like route marshals, people steeped in navigating using love as a fuel. It is not true that only disciples will find the way home; that idea is self-indulgent in itself. Disciples are called to go into the life of others so that others can taste this love that will illuminate their way out of worldly challenges. Disciples allow love to flow through them by loving the other.
Letting love flow is a dynamic action. It does not cease. Disciples are constantly on the move to be where love is needed. There is no rest. “Foxes have holes and the birds in the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”.
The way home is narrow, hemmed in by endless distractions that will lead us astray. We need to remain focus like a kick-scooterist who cannot afford to take his hands of the handle or to look back. Stay focus to remain on this path to love one another as yourself. This way out is the way in into the home of eternal life.
“Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God”
13th Ordinary Sunday