June 30, 2013 l 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Notes for Part 3
Point #1: Jesus always takes the initiative
No. 1: "Follow me" ... Matthew 4:19, 8:22, 9:9, 10:38, 16:24, 19:21, 19:28; Mark 1:17, 2:14, 8:34, 10:21; Luke 5:27, 9:23, 9:59, 14:27, 18:22; John 1:43, 8:12, 10:27, 12:26, 13:36, 21:19, 21:22
No. 2: "God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God's initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response."
No. 3: "Man is in search of God. In the act of creation, God calls every being from nothingness into existence. 'Crowned with glory and honor,' man is, after the angels, capable of acknowledging 'how majestic is the name of the Lord in all the earth.' Even after losing through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Creator, and retains the desire for the one who calls him into existence. All religions bear witness to men's essential search for God."
Point #2: The "culture" of Jesus is very different than the culture we live in
No. 4: "As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.'"
No. 6: "But he answered him, 'Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'"
No. 7: "Love of neighbor is thus shown to be possible in the way proclaimed by the Bible, by Jesus. It consists in the very fact that, in God and with God, I love even the person whom I do not like or even know. This can only take place on the basis of an intimate encounter with God, an encounter which has become a communion of will, even affecting my feelings. Then I learn to look on this other person not simply with my eyes and my feelings, but from the perspective of Jesus Christ. … Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave."
Point #3: We can't look back
"[To him] Jesus said, 'No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.'"
No. 8: "Second Rule. In persons who are going on intensely purifying their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, the method is contrary to that in the first rule. For then it is proper to the evil spirit tobite, sadden, and place obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, so that the person may not go forward. And it is proper to the good spirit to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing and taking away all obstacles, so that the person may go forward in doing good."
No. 9: "I stood on the brink of resolution … I tried again and came a little nearer to my goal, and then a little nearer still, so that I could almost reach out and grasp it. But I did not reach it… .
"I was held back by mere trifles, the most paltry inanities, all my old attachments. They plucked at my garment of flesh and whispered, 'Are you going to dismiss us? From this moment we shall never be with you again, forever and ever. From this moment you will never be allowed to do this thing or that, for evermore … These voices … no longer barred my way, blatantly contradictory, but their mutterings seemed to reach me from behind, as though they were stealthily plucking at my back, trying to make me turn my head when I wanted to go forward. Yet in my state of indecision, they kept me from tearing myself away, from shaking myself free of them and leaping across the barrier to the other side, where you were calling me."
No. 10: "But by now… I had turned my eyes elsewhere, and while I stood trembling at the barrier, on the other side I could see the chaste beauty of Continence in all her serene, unsullied joy, as she modestly beckoned me to cross over and to hesitate no more. She stretched out loving hands to welcome and embrace me, holding up a host of good examples to my sight. ... She smiled at me to give me courage, as though she were saying, 'Can you not do what these men and women do? Do you think they find the strength to do it in themselves and not in the Lord their God? … Why do you try to stand in your own strength and fail? Cast yourself upon God and have no fear. He will not shrink away and let you fall. Cast yourself upon him without fear, for he will welcome you and cure you of your ills.'"