Thirteenth Sunday (C)                                                           Luke 9:51-62

In our second reading St. Paul elaborates on what believers are called to do in the freedom that Christ has given them; they must fulfill the law by love of neighbor and living in the spirit and not in the flesh. Today we live in a world that defines freedom as: Freedom from all authority, freedom to do as we will with our lives, freedom from any restraint, divine or human. This is the gospel of our permissive society. But really, this is not new, the Church survived the Pagan cultures of old. However, the ancient Pagan cultures had belief in their mythological gods, irrational as they may have been. Even though their gods were just idols and fantastic stories, yet they believed there were rules and social regulations these false gods made them follow, commands that organized their society into a workable community.

However, the pagans of today, the people we live with, have no rules or regulations; they believe that they are gods, they answer to no one, to no power but themselves. This abuse of freedom did not come from Asia or Africa but from so-called Christian countries, from people who are either ignorant of, or choose to ignore their true purpose in life. The only thing they desire is to gain as much pleasure, power and wealth from this life. They have reverted to the law of the jungle: survival of the fittest and violence upon the most vulnerable.

The permissive society, in which we find ourselves, is no longer a society at all. For the very definition of society is a group of people working together in harmony for the common good of all its members. This country, this world, has been torn from academic education into a strictly vocational, Marxist education and the intellectuals of our day continue to further divide us in the name of diversity, they divide us by race, religion, nationality, sexual preference, gender, language, education, vocation and God knows what else they will create as another oppressed minority. While liberty and freedom is to be commended, we must not use freedom for the purpose of removing the freedoms of others. Therefore, abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and perverted sexual acts, are inherently evil; they are not freedoms we allowed to choose. We cannot justify removing all hindrance to personal pleasure, power or wealth. 

So, my brothers and sisters, what are we to do? Jesus gives us the answer in the gospel. Jesus surprises his disciples with his insistence on total dedication to his mission to go to Jerusalem where he will face his Passion and death. He says, “He who gathers not with me, scatters.”  Since our baptism we are followers of Christ. This is a fact, but in practice how real is this fact for us? How many of us can answer, 'yes, we follow him at all times.” Of course, we have excuses for our laxity. We are tied down by family and a hundred other earthly cares. But Christ knows we must live this earthly life properly, by being loyal to spouse and family, by earning an honest living and being helpful with our neighbors. 

Those who live within the limits of Christian law while working their way through this life are following Christ and keeping their eye on the promise of the reward to come. We can find more time to take an interest in the spiritual and less on the temporal. If the evils of our times come to confront us we must stand up for Christ and his teaching, showing the world that we are following him gladly and honestly. We do not look back or need the things of this earth and its evil ways, we just move forward to our eternal reward.                                                                                         

qExt meeting © JOSEPH MEILINGER 2021