'The cost of discipleship'
Mass presided by Msgr. Simas/Sermon : Deacon Dick Bayless
In the days leading up to the Second World War in Europe, there was great work being done in the catholic world, Christian catholic world. We have celebrated today the feast of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who was a Franciscan friar, who started a worldwide radio. Actually ministry of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We also have, this last week, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross who was a Carmelite nun, who wrote notable papers on Christian catholic philosophy. And lastly we had a Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer who wrote a very important book. The book is entitled 'The cost of discipleship' and it's considered now a classic of Christian thought when it was published in 1937.
Being a Christian is costly, wrote Dr Bonheoffer, because it compels a person to submit to the yoke of Christ and follow him. It is all about grace. Because Jesus says 'my yoke is easy and my burden is light'. a disciple is one who has been baptized, and is then willing to take upon him or her, the name of the savior, and follow him. a disciple strives to become as he, Jesus is, by keeping his commandments in much the same way as an apprentice seeks to become like his or her master. There's another term that Dr Bonheoffer talks about that he labels 'cheap grace'. 'Cheap grace' being a baptism without church discipline. communion without confession, it is grace without the cross. In short, cheap grace to offer is simply grace without Jesus . and grace without Jesus is no grace at all.
'The cost of discipleship' echoes through all three readings we hear today. there is a cost we must pay, suffering we must endure as disciples of the lord. In the first reading, the lord came to the aid of Jeremiah the prophet. Whose preaching brought upon him rejection and ill-treatment? Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern by his appointed opponents. However one court official had the moral strength to intervene and to save Jeremiah's life.
In the second reading, we learn to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus to persevere and make progress in the journey of faith. The author of Hebrews compares life's journey to a race we are running. In the race of life, we are called as any runner is, to keep our eyes fixed on the goal - the prize. And for our part, we should not grow weak in our struggle against sin.
In the gospel today, Jesus is aware of the price he must pay, and is under great stress awaiting the 'baptism' of his death. For those who take the gospel seriously, misunderstanding and division must likewise be expected. Jesus came to proclaim the kingdom of his father, and he knows that some will embrace the message, and some will reject it. Jesus’s message will set people against one another. Because it is impossible to remain neutral in the face of one who has been set ablaze with the gospel. Others will either stoke the fire or douse the blaze.
Saint Luke implies that Jesus makes no apologies for the turmoil he brings. 'Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth?'. Bringing this up to date, father Pat McCluskey, a Franciscan friar, says there are many reminders of what today we do and maybe face. Politicians are often afraid to speak the truth in campaign ads. Church ministers both clergy and lay may not want to accept changes. We often face violence in our streets and neighborhoods. Finally, we must work hard to be civil in our disagreements. The cost of discipleship is a daily challenge. The strength to make progress comes from the scriptures, from the mass, and the sacraments. In addition to loving our neighbor and working for their best interests. Like Christ we must never grow despondent or abandon the struggle to proclaim and live the truth.
在第二次世界大戰前，歐洲的天主教基督徒做了許多重要的工作。今天是慶祝方濟各會修士聖 Maximilian Mary Kolbe 的日子 ，他創辦了一個專門奉獻給聖母瑪利亞的電台向全球廣播。上週二是慶祝加爾默羅會修女聖 Teresa Benedicta of the Cross 的日子，她撰寫了許多有關於天主教基督神學的論述。還有一位路德教會牧師 Dietrich Bonhoeffer，他於 1937 年出版了一本書 “門徒的代價”。這本書現在被公認是一部基督思想的經典之作。
Bonhoeffer 指出作基督的門徒是要付出代價的。基督的門徒必須順服在基督的軛下來追隨祂。門徒要付出的代價與耶穌所賜的恩典有關。耶穌說“我的軛是柔和的，我的擔子是輕鬆的”。門徒門都是受過洗的人，接受耶穌為救世主來跟隨祂。就像學徒向主人學習一樣，門徒遵守耶穌的誡命，努力地模仿耶穌的行為，希望能與耶穌相似。 Bonheoffer 博士在書中用了一句話 “廉價的恩典”。 “廉價的恩典” 指的是沒有通過教會紀律受的洗禮，沒有辦吿解而領聖體，也就是沒有十字架的恩典。簡而言之，“廉價的恩典”就是 “沒有耶穌” 的恩典。“沒有耶穌” 的恩典根本就不是恩典。
在路加福音中，耶穌沒有為祂將會帶來的分裂而道歉。 “你們以為我來是給地上送和平嗎？”。 方濟各會修道士 Pat McCluskey 神父將這福音引申到今天。政客們在競選廣告中說謊， 神職人員，平信徒，和教會的牧師不願意改變，我們經常在街道上和社區中面對暴力。 對於我們每天所做的事情和面臨的挑戰，福音提醒我們必須努力在分歧中保持應有的禮貌。 門徒的代價就是面對每天的挑戰。 我們進步的力量是來自聖經、彌撒和聖體。 除了愛近人並為他們的最大利益而努力以外，我們更要學習基督，絕不沮喪或放棄這場宣揚真理的鬥爭。