Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
June 29-30, 2019
Excuses. We all have them.
I know a story about a young man. He was not rich. His father died when he was five. He played sports, but he was considered too small, too thin and too slow. He tried to attend a state university but failed the entrance exam. He played his sport in a small school where he toiled in obscurity. When he graduated from college he was drafted by his hometown professional team, but was cut before he even appeared in an exhibition game. He worked in construction as a laborer and played the game he loved on bad semi-pro teams. When another professional team gave him a chance, he made it as the back-up to the team’s star player. Yet the committed young man never quit nor made excuses.
In today’s Gospel Jesus asks for full commitment from His followers. He accepts no excuses. The Lord’s words may seem harsh, but they are meant for effect. He asked His disciples, “What do you put before God?” Jesus knew that anything less than complete devotion to Him would not be enough to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth.
What are our excuses? Family? Work? Do we hesitate to make the full commitment to the Lord because we are not holy enough or talented enough?
Jesus never asked for perfection in His disciples. The apostles bickered among themselves, had difficulty and often failed to grasp Christ’s message. They abandoned Him, denied Him, and doubted Him. Yet through it all they kept coming back to Jesus.
The same is asked of us. We don’t have to abandon our family or leave our job. We just have to place God first in our lives. When we fail to stay committed or begin to make excuses we must find our way back to the Lord.
What of that committed young man who never made excuses? The team’s star player was injured early in the season and the young man took his place. He went on to become the legendary quarterback for the Baltimore Colts, Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players in NFL History–Johnny Unitas!
Patrick J. Perkins