September 30, 2020 – Wednesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/093020.cfm)
What prevents us to fully commit ourselves to a relationship? Why are we being prevented and what makes it difficult to fully commit?
A couple who was about to be married shared to me their thoughts and plans. They were surely in loved with each other and wanted to live as husband and wife. Yet, they too shared to me that as a couple they planned not to have a child. They just wanted to live as husband and wife. I asked them why. The two of them confirmed that, to have a child is difficult for them. Both of them were at the peak of their careers and their individual profession was so important that losing them was not a choice. Thus, if they will have a child then their careers will be affected.
Christian marriage is not just limited between the union of husband and wife. This love and union should also overflow towards their children. Completely closing the doors to the possibility of having children, rearing, loving and nurturing them is after all, a non-commitment to Christian marriage.
Thus, our many attachments can actually prevent us from fully committing to a relationship. It is indeed difficult when we are called to let go of our many attachments. These attachments could be our careers and jobs, positions and influence, power and wealth, or unfulfilled dreams and desires, our traumatic experiences or past broken relationships. These can also be our various addictions and compulsive behaviors, or just our family and circle of friends.
These attachments prevent us to fully commit to a relationship because we are being held back and we allow ourselves to be caught up. This happened to those whom Jesus invited to follow him.
Jesus said “follow me.” The person certainly wanted to follow Jesus, BUT, in following Jesus, there were conditions attached. Jesus emphasized the urgency of following him but then the person was being held by his attachments. These attachments prevented him to follow the Lord by making conditions.
This is something Job realized also in the first reading. The story of Job tells us about the human suffering of those who find themselves righteous and good. Yet, life is not under our control. God remains the author of life and decides about our life. Job here slowly realized that he was not the master of his life. All the things that he possessed are not his, including the life of his family and his very life. His suffering was a proof that attachments in life do not give security and contentment and that he can just set conditions in his relationships with God, the almighty.
Today, Jesus also calls us to follow him freely and without conditions. Each of us is being invited, wherever we are and whoever we are. Whether you are working and married or single, unemployed or a simple vendor, a professional or a laborer, well and healthy or sick, a religious or a government official, young or old – the Lord calls us to commit ourselves to Him. When we commit ourselves, then, we too are challenged to let go of our attachments that may prevent us from fully following Jesus.
Let us ask Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, t to guide us in recognizing our unhealthy attachments so that we will be able to let go of them and realize the freedom and peace of choosing Jesus. Hopefully, in choosing to follow Jesus we may also discover the joy and the beauty of allowing God to be the center of our commitment in our relationships. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR