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Word Alive by Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD June 26, 2022/13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The gospel message of this 13th Sunday is about the failure of the three men who offered to become disciples but could not let go of their attachments. The first man could not follow the Lord due to the ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY. Jesus said that discipleship or following him entailed material deprivation: “The foxes have holes and the birds have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (cf. Lk 9,57 ff).

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Material deprivation does not necessarily mean depriving ourselves of material resources but can mean sharing with the less fortunate or sharing time, say, to visit the sick and elderly.

The second and third men turned their backs on Jesus’ call because of FAMILY OBLIGATIONS (“I will follow you, Lord, but let me first bury the dead;” “let me say goodbye to my family”).

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There was a couple who were so much engrossed in their business of manufacturing huge volumes of clothes for export that the family suffered. With little supervision, the children went wayward. The business was all that mattered so that even on Sundays, they had to work. Since the couple had no more time for one another, eventually their marriage broke apart.

People can be so busy making a living that they forget what matters most—God first and one’s immortal soul. As Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but suffers the loss of his own soul?” (Mt 16,26).

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Our Lord calls us to live a holistic or balanced life which takes into consideration our spiritual well-being. Jesus calls us to join him and his ministry like what he did to the men in today’s gospel but sadly they turned down his call, believing their preoccupations were more important.

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ASK YOURSELF: What are the things that hinder you from discipleship or following the Lord? Is it extreme attachment to work so that you have no more time for God? Or, is it enslavement to gambling like E-sabong, alcoholism, drugs or an illicit relationship?

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The answer will be different for each one of us. This is personal between God and yourself. But the important thing is that we must have a PLAN in life, which does not seek only material success but also spiritual. Let go, then, of the tight hold of your attachments so you will be free to follow the Lord. Better do it now. Life is short.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. Reporter to politician: Sir, do you watch TV news? Politician: Walang oras. R: Do you go out with your family and have bonding? P: Walang oras. R: Do you go to church with your family? P: Walang oras. R: Do you go to beerhouses with your barkada? P: WALONG oras!

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