Jesus asks for total loyalty from his disciples! Allegiance to what ends? Jesus was clear that he expected his followers to “be all in”, to choose him over their mothers and fathers, over their sisters and brothers and even over their daughters and sons. This must have sounded absurd! Who could do that, they must have asked? To choose Jesus over your family was to make a choice that would mean that you would lose the ones who would care for you in old age, or in the event of illness, choosing Jesus would mean your future would immediately become much more precarious! Your family is where your personal identity came from. What was Jesus asking of his followers? It seems that Jesus was asking his disciples to put him at the center of their lives and from this center to move outward to others. He was asking them to become “his family”! These words of Jesus’ taken in the context of the fullness of his message to love God with our whole selves and our neighbor as ourselves gives us insight into what he is suggesting. If indeed we are able to place Christ at the center of our lives we will be less self-absorbed, less harsh towards others and more kind, generous and lov-ing. By consciously and reflectively living Christ centered lives we become more and more rooted in our relationship with Christ and ultimately, our relationships with our sisters and brothers can blossom and become fuller and deeper, more authentic human encounters with our sisters and brothers. When we do this, racism and bigotry cannot ex-ist in our lives and will be rooted out of our institutions, both secular and sacred. By placing Christ at the center of my life I prioritize my life in such a way that the priorities of the Gospel become the priorities of my life, that Gospel values of justice, peace and the integrity of creation are no longer simply “nice ideals to work for” but rather “fundamental imperatives” around which I build my life, create family and live out my relationship with God and others. Am I putting anything or anyone ahead of Christ and my relationship with God that I need to reconsider so as to live a more Christ centered life….so as to re-center my life! How does my relationship with God impact my rela-tionship with my family and with others? How might strengthening or deepening my relationship with God im-pact my relationship with my family and others?
Fr. Tim Hickey, C.S.Sp.
Our Lady Queen of Peace
2700 South 19th Street
Arlington, Virginia, 22204, USA
Office hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (closed on federal holidays)Weekend Mass Schedule
Saturday Vigil: 5:30pm
Sunday: 8:00am, 9:30am, 11:15am,
6:00pm (Young Adult Mass)