“in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts" (2nd Corinthians 6:4-5)
Saint Teresa of Ávila once shared with the Lord: “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so many enemies.” Hmmmmm ... how true. The first reading from the Scriptures at today's daily Mass tells of the struggle of discipleship. In 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6, Saint Paul speaks of the need to hold fast to the Lord, especially in the face of “afflictions, hardships" and other challenges of discipleship.
Being an authentic disciple today is different from the days Saint Paul speaks of. However, many of us know too well the tension of living in the world with our hearts living in the Lord. Being a disciple at work is tough. Being a disciple at home can be tough. And, unfortunately, being a disciple within a strained marriage can be really tough.
Jesus promised communion, not comfort; the Gospel confronts us and those around us. When you and I feel the strain of relationships because of our commitment to Christ, the temptation is to give up or to run from the tension. However, the key is to not run away from the tension but to run to the Lord. In other words, the answer for the tension is not compromise or conformity, but communion. Communion with Christ is what sustained Saint Paul. Communion with Christ is what led you to become a disciple. And, communion with Christ is the only thing that will sustain you when you experience “afflictions, hardships" and other challenges of discipleship.
Be not afraid. Remember: keep your eyes on Christ. Remember: it's about the little things. Remember: it's about where you looking, not what you're facing. Remember: it's not about compromise or conformity, it's about communion.
© Fr. Mark Toups, 2013
Today @ IPF:
The 169 seminarians in the Seminarians Summer Program are in two classes.
In their first class, 502: Celibacy and Sexuality, the men will learn more about anger and resentment impacts celibacy, as well as their spiritual life in general. In their second class, 503: Spirituality of Diocesan Priesthood, the men will learn more their identity as a beloved son.
Flying back to eauxmaha today. Great weekend back home in the parish ... I love being a father.
Today's Quote from B16:
“The important thing today…is for us to see clearly and anew, that God is present, that He is concerned with us and responds to us."
― General Audience , October 10, 2012