23rd Sunday of the Year – What is the Cost?

Price Tag

Study:  Take a close look at your personal calendar and checkbook and/or credit card statement.  Where do we spend our time and money?

Pray:  Is there a conflict of values in your life?  Ask the Lord for guidance and direction.

Serve:  How can I help someone today focus on the values and priorities that will bring true and lasting peace?

23rd Sunday Readings

I am not a shopper.  I am one of those people who takes pride in getting in and out of stores in the shortest period of time.  In fact, when I make my lists for the grocery or department store I often keep them on me, so that if I have a moment between meetings I can run and get what I need.

In my haste I find that I do not always pay attention to the price.  Later, I find in conversation that I could have gotten the item at a substantially reduced rate – if only I had paid attention to the cost.

We measure the value of most things by what they cost.  “What’s the price tag?” is a question that reveals our priorities and goals.  The cost of something AND our willingness (or unwillingness) to pay for it tells us much about what we think is important.

It is this notion of cost that surfaces in Luke’s Gospel today.  Jesus makes it very clear to the crowds that the cost for being a disciple is EVERYTHING.
*Friends
*Family
*Possessions
*Health
*Our very Lives

All that we have and all that we offer belong to God, and it is the Lord who will demand everything back when we stand in the Lord’s presence on the day of judgment.

To follow Jesus, then, is to recognize that all that we have is God’s gift given to us.  We are merely the stewards of the Lord’s possessions – entrusted to take care of what God has given us during our lives here on earth.

When we recognize the real cost of following Jesus – everything we have and are – then we begin to see that all of life is a blessing that we have to use, but will never own.  This is just another way of saying that “we can’t take it with us” when we die.  The cost for following Jesus is the understanding that everything belongs to God, and everything will one day return back to the Lord.

As we continue to see all of life as belonging to God, we begin to discover a new freedom in how we live and use what we have.  Guided by this freedom, possessions no longer rule our lives; rather, they become instruments by which we help others and enjoy the blessing of our lives as gifts from God.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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