What a wonderful thing it is to be a human being. Some of us live in very difficult circumstances. All of us suffer to one degree or another in this life. Every one of us has a degree of hope that things will get better and that ultimately we will achieve happiness. That is an innate desire and it is placed within us by our Creator.
As we journey towards our goals, we need to endeavor to be conscious of the wonderful gifts that we have today, each one of us in our own individual lives. They vary from person to person but the gifts are there. Those gifts do not blot out or eliminate the suffering we experience, especially unjust suffering. They do point the way forward and upward. One of the greatest gifts that each human being has is the gift of imagination. With our minds, we can probe the future. Based on past experiences, we can surmise what might happen and what we have to do to make it happen or if it is a negative reality, to avoid it happening. It is our imagination, functioning through our intellect, that enables us to, in a very real sense, move ourselves into the future. No one has complete control over the future but to the extent that we are conscious of this gift, this special power that is in each one of us, to that extent we move forward into the future with confidence, hope and endurance.
Keep thinking, keep hoping, keep moving and, of course, let’s keep praying.
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Tomorrow is the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time and for this day the Church has chosen as the Gospel an excerpt the ninth chapter of St. Luke, verses 51 to 62.
The scene has Jesus journeying towards Jerusalem. In this short excerpt, several men came up to him and expressed a strong desire to join his followers. In each case, they had other things they needed to take of first, namely settling things out with their families. Jesus challenged them that he required a solid commitment and that they should not be looking back. While the main point of this brief scene is that Jesus does expect solid and true commitment to his cause, a more important concept is to be found in the overall Gospel of St. Luke. The whole Gospel is about the fact that Jesus set his face to Jerusalem. Time after time throughout the Gospel, the expression will be seen, “And Jesus continues on to Jerusalem.” In other words, the whole Gospel can be summarized by the fact that Jesus’ public life was a journey that was to culminate in Jerusalem with his triumphal entry and then suffering death and resurrection.
All of us are challenged in our own lives to clearly let our ultimate goal and let nothing deviate us from that journey to that goal. For Jesus it was to achieve the redemption of the human condition. For us it is to make sure that we benefit from what Jesus has done for us. Jerusalem is a symbol of our eternal destiny. Let us not be confused by other goals.
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