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Let The Dead Bury The Dead

Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: Amos 2:6-10, 13-16; Psalm 50:16bc-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23; Matthew 8:18-22

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus talks funny, doesn’t he? Or should I say he talks oddly, mysteriously. “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head,” he told the man who wanted to follow him. “Let the dead bury the dead,” he said to another man who also wanted to be his follower but requested to go home first and bury his father. What is Jesus saying? Your guess is as good as mine.

Just kiddin’. What Jesus seems to be saying is that being his follower is not like a Sunday picnic. We can expect it to be hard, very, very hard. To be a follower of Christ, to join his company is not to be a side attraction, a diversion, a filler for spare time.

You know the type, imagined or real, who takes up religion like they might take up golf or card games, charity work or “slumming.” To them it’s a fad, it’s fashionable, an amusement, something different from the ordinary boredom of routine. In other words, God nor Jesus get settled in very deeply in their hearts.

Jesus is saying, if you want to follow me don’t expect it to be all fun and games. In fact, expect a life of hard work and self-denial. Leave worldly things to the worldly, plunge yourself fully into the things of God. Give of yourself, give of your talents, give of your time and things to the work of God, not just occasionally when you might feel like it, but all the time, even when you’d rather be doing something else.

“The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” “Let the dead bury their dead.”

God’s work of love requires total, complete, ongoing, never-ending dedication. Jesus wants to be sure we all understand that before we go jumping onto his wagon.


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