Sunday 13 July 2014

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Some of us are fortunate to be living a life without much problems, worries, difficulties, broken relationships, physical or emotional pain, or some other form of suffering. When we are not facing such situations, some of us may begin to get quite comfortable in our present status, and may be reluctant to come out of our comfort zone, get involved, and be charitable towards others less fortunate than us. Some of us may just donate a certain sum, thinking that giving money would help and we have done our part. The question is: are we behaving like Christians in such situations, or are we just doing things just to get a person off our backs or to avoid getting too involved in a situation?

Being a Christian means we are being disciples of Christ. That means we should be constantly on a mission to bring the Good News to others, with words and actions. It also means we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. The cross reminds us of the standards of God: such as truth, love, compassion, forgiveness, humility, and self-sacrifice. Whereas we should not be influenced by the standards of the world: such as lies, selfishness, unforgiveness, violence, pride, prejudices and self-centeredness.

Throughout our lives on earth, we are constantly challenged to choose one of two paths. The first path is the easy path, where we are showered with wealth, riches, popularity and power. This path may appear to be wonderful, and some may become complacent and quite comfortable in staying on this path. But such a path could lead us away from God. What some of us think as a wise choice in following this path may one day discover too late that it is a foolish choice. The other path is winding, difficult, challenging, painful and we may face much persecution if we follow this path. But this is the path of the cross, the path that Christ beckons us, as it would lead us to God. Which path do we really want? Which path are we sincerely prepared to follow?

St. Paul in the second reading reminds us: "Do not model yourselves on the behaviour of the world around you, but let your behaviour change, modelled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do." Are we prepared to forgo temporary comfort and riches on earth and take up our cross, so that we could enjoy eternal comfort and riches with God?

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