June 26, 2022 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062622.cfm)
“How could I now tell my parents that I choose to settle down my life in marriage?” Quite a pressing concern might be for young mature couple nowadays. Somehow these words express the dilemma of young mature people are in – not only in making decision, but also of facing the implications of such decision. These words are not just about choosing one’s life-path & identity, but also of being responsible for & committed to one’s choice, either to be married, ordained, consecrated or singleton in life.
A wise man once said: “Life is about choices. Some we regret. Some we are proud of. Some will haunt us forever… And the message is: We are what we choose to be.” True indeed, we are product not of our circumstances & conditions but rather of the choices & decisions we make with those situations. We are what & who we are, not by circumstances but by CHOICE. One wise man would even say: “Your decision today is a statement of who you are & a declaration of who you choose to be.” Your identity & responsibility then is Your choice. And your choice is your identity & responsibility. Whatever, whoever, & however you are in life is by CHOICE… -with all its consequences.
The same can be & should be said about being Christian. To follow Jesus in life is BY Choice & not by circumstances. As he has pointed out in our gospel today, following Jesus demands our very own choice to be His disciples & to be responsible for our chosen life of discipleship for Him – however it might now be.
Consider that as we grow in our Christian life, God calls each one of us to a more radical discipleship – a more radical following of Christ. Eventually as we go through life, each one of us, as Christian has to make a life-commitment before the Lord. We have to make a free and voluntary life decision of what kind of Christian will you be, – whether as married, ordained, professed or single-blessed person. Such decision or option is our radical way of responding to His call to follow Him. Such as in marriage, a man leaves his mother, a woman leaves her home, they will travel on the road and the two became as one. All of us have to follow in Lord’s journey back to the Father in the way of life that he has called you to be – not by force or fear, nor by mere reactions to life-challenges, but by our free choice & commitment.
Like Elisha in our reading today, eventually we have to make a decision to leave everything behind and make a commitment to follow the Lord’s journey-pilgrimage to our Jerusalem. In a sense, Jesus calls us consequently to give up all our securities, to be faithful & loyal to the way of life God has called us to be, and to be free for God and His people.
Come to think of it. In the icon of OMPH, we see Mary, Our Mother tenderly holding her frightened Child Jesus close in her heart. This is an image of Mary as Theotokos (the God-bearer) who by her Choice, Fiat, Yes – has taken the choice & responsibility of taking care God’s presence in life. Through her Choice with all its consequences, Mary becomes the first tabernacle of God’s presence in our faith-life journey.
Same way with Mary, the Christian life we live is our (yours & mine) chosen & committed life, regardless of whatever & however the present state or outcome maybe. Regrettable, haunting, challenging, gratifying or glorifying may your life be, remember this is the life you choose & promise to be before God & others. This is the life you choose to be before God & others. And as per advice of St. Teresa of Calcuta who said: “God called us to be faithful, not to be successful,” the Christian life we chose & are choosing in following the Lord thus demands our faithfulness rather than our successes.
So, Remember then, that there was once a time in your life that you choose to be the kind of Christian you are now. Indeed, your decision is a statement of who you are and a declaration of who you choose to be. Move on and don’t look back. Howsoever the journey may have been so far, trust that He is leading and guiding you in your path. In whatever & however situation you might be, pray more for faithfulness & fidelity than success – that you remain steadfast in your commitment to Him, who journey with us always on the road of life now & forever. Amen.