2019-08-1820th Sunday in Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

Making a commitment to Jesus Christ means taking a stand on certain things. Taking a stand on certain things often puts you into opposition to other people and sometimes it puts you in opposition to members of your own family.

Sometimes, our commitment to God will bring about some form of persecution in our lives. This is what happened to Jeremiah in our first reading from the Old Testament.

Sometimes our commitment to Jesus Christ will cause us to struggle as is the case in today's second reading from Hebrews.

One of the reasons why the Romans hated Christianity was that it tore families apart. Once one became a Christian he could no longer serve in the Roman army. He could no longer join in prayer worship. He could no longer go to the coliseum and watch gladiators tear each other apart as they fought each other to death. He could no longer join others in encouraging his sister to let her crippled baby die rather than let her child grow up handicapped. He could no longer join his friends in orgies and other immoral activities that were so characteristic of Rome in those days. Over and over again, Christians had to decide whether they loved Jesus Christ more than they loved others, sometimes even more than they loved members of their families.

When Jesus Christ invited people to believe in him and follow him in his way of life, sometimes it meant leaving their families and their family's way of life. Commitment to Jesus Christ should take priority over everything else.

The primary responsibility of the Church is to carry out the teachings of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, many times, that puts us in opposition to current popular opinions. Being members of Christ's Church is not always easy. Sometimes, it is very difficult to be a modern day disciple.

Lord give me the courage to follow you even when it causes me to struggle as it says in today's second reading from Hebrews. Lord, give me the courage to follow you even when it causes my persecution as Jeremiah was persecuted in today's first reading.

Lord give me the courage to follow you even when it sets me in opposition to popular opinion and sometimes my own family as it says in today's Gospel from St. Luke.

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