23rd Sunday Ordinary Time
September 4, 2016
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus warns us that before we engage the enemy (the evil one, our sins, the world) in battle or set out on our God-given mission in life, we had better be sure we have the resources to win; otherwise, we might as well surrender in advance, because our foe is not mere flesh and blood but the forces of darkness that lie unseen (Luke 14:25-33). The Lord goes so far as to say that we must give up all our possessions. What does he mean?
Jesus makes it clear that in order to see the battles of life for what they really are, and to win them, we need more than our own earthly resources. We need HIS weapons at our disposal, not just our own possessions! If you are battling with only earthly resources, says Jesus, go ahead and sue for peace right now, because you are going to lose that battle without them!!
What possessions must I relinquish? Let’s start with the most important of all: I must hand over to God my own will. I must learn to choose God’s will. I will win every battle when I hand over my most precious possession, my will, and let His be done. And this is done by praise in all things!
Here’s another precious possession: my time. At the beginning of each day we are to hand over to God our schedule, that he may help us plan it. I will make time for the things of God: prayer, Mass on Sunday, quality time with my family, spiritual reading, scripture, sacrificial giving.
I will hand over to Christ another possession I am attached to: my sins. I will go to confession if I have serious sin on my soul, and thus defeat the enemy, who has lied to me and told me it isn’t necessary. And every day I will examine the wins and losses of the day, repent, and then rejoice!
I will hand over to Christ my entertainment time. What choices do I make on the computer, on TV, in movies, in magazines? Which camp am I in? Christ’s or the enemy? It all depends on which choice I am making right now!
We can use this gospel in our daily battles of life with these and other tools of the Holy Spirit. Though our daily struggles may seem ordinary, we will be victorious when we are equipped with Christ’s resources.