Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


“None of you can be My disciple if he does not renounce

all his possessions.” —Luke 14:33

Thousands of football players across the country are doing whatever the coach wants in order to make the team. They’ll drop everything and move across country, change their diet, learn challenging positions, run sprints in full uniform in burning heat, and get clobbered by powerful men. They abandon their bodies to pain and injury for the chance to make the team. “Athletes deny themselves all sorts of things” (1 Cor 9:25).

Similarly, soldiers renounce civilian life “in order to please [their] commanding officer” (2 Tm 2:4). They sleep in foxholes, exposed to bombs and bullets. They go without food and water, get cold and wet, endure loneliness, misunderstanding, and even rejection. At times, they are portrayed as brutal villains. Yet their focus is to please their captain and serve their country.

What about those who bear the name of Christian? I’ve heard Christians get upset with God because their washing machine broke down and their clothes were dirty! Dirty uniforms and renouncing possessions are part of daily life for football players and soldiers. If we Christians understood renouncing as well as athletes and soldiers, we would be pleading with God for every opportunity to get off the spiritual bench and onto the field of battle, as did young David (see 1 Sm 17:32ff).

Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus? Do you want to make His team? Are you focused on pleasing Jesus, your Captain? Then get serious and renounce your possessions (Lk 14:33).