Jun 27 (Mt 8:18-22)

We are living in an age of an insistent inclination to the “Instant”….

We seek for…
>> Instant Coffees…
>> Instant Food…
>> Instant Juices…
>> Instant Pleasures…
>> Instant Solutions to problems…
>> Instant end to difficulties…
And sadly…even an inclination for Instant Christianity!

Christianity sometimes gets reduced to…
…. Going to Church once in a while especially on a Sunday or a Feast day
… Saying a few prayers time to time
…. Reading a few verses from the Bible.. etc…
>>> And then expecting Instant blessings and favours!

But is this all that Christ intended with Christianity?
>> What does it mean to be a Follower of Christ?

There are various categories or classifications in the job sector.
>> Some do a full time job
>> Some do it part time
>> Some do it on a contract basis
>> Some do it to achieve a target.

Am I a Christian, as a full timer…?
>> Or have I reduced it to a part time affair, or in terms of some contract or promises, or in order to achieve some wants and desires?

The Gospel of the Day is a call to re-look at some of the motives and intentions in our following of Christ.

The Gospel of the Day begins with the verse:
Mt 8:18 – “When He saw the crowd press around Him, Jesus gave orders to cross to the other shore”

The preceding verses in Chapter 8 of the Gospel of St Matthew present Jesus performing many miracles and healings…
… and a “Crowd” being attracted to the Lord.

Where there is a miraculous event, a crowd gathers….

But the Lord, wished to sift this Crowd.
>> He says, ” Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His Head” (Mt 8: 20)

Jesus does away with any promise of security and comfort
>> He discourages people from following Him for having a better material life!

It was not that He didn’t want many people…
… but He wished to purify their motives & make them authentic in their following Him!

He sifts and sieves and strains the “Crowd”…to get together the “Disciples”.

Where there is a miraculous event, a crowd gathers…
>> But when there is an exhortation in being committed to that miraculous event…
… the crowd is filtered…and only the Disciples remain back!

The Lord is asking us today…
Are we just a part of the CROWD…?
… or are we ready to be filtered, and be a DISCIPLE?

It is easy to be part of a Crowd….
>> We can enjoy the occasional miracles
>> We can relish hearing the Word of God

But it is not easy to be a Disciple…
>> The experience of external miracles would be few
>> The Word of God would not just be heard, but also be expected to be lived and practised in life!
>> There would be no guarantee of any security in life
>> Many of the personal desires would have to be left behind…

To be a Disciple is hard…undoubtedly painful…and certainly, demanding
>> But to be a Disciple is also joyful…undoubtedly satisfying…and certainly, exciting!!

The Crowd is Casual…
… the Disciple is Dedicated!

The Crowd is Dichotomous…
… the Disciple is Committed!

What are we going to choose?
To be part of the “Crowd” ?…  an Instant and easy-going Christianity?
… or to be a “Disciple” – an Ever-faithful and committed Christianity?

Your answer please?….. Instantly!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

– Fr Jijo Manjackal MSFS
  Bengaluru, India

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