Commitment of Christ’s Stewards

Matthew 8: 18-22
Am 2:6-10, 13-16 / Psa 50

Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.
(Matthew 8:20)

May the Holy Spirit’s fire fall
And consume all our fears and doubt;
So that it may be plain to all
What commitment is all about.

When Jesus saw the crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. Then a teacher of the law approached and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to rest His head.” Another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22).

Reflection

Why did our Lord give orders to cross to the other side of the lake when a crowd of people were following Him? Was it because He knew they had the wrong motive in wanting to be His disciples? The crowds had seen Him perform many miracles: healing the sick and driving out demons. Most of them were either just curious about His powers, or wanted to make Him their king, which was contrary to His mission.

Jesus did not care about numbers when He started to organize His Church. There was time enough for that. He was more interested in the quality of its members, particularly in their commitment to follow Him and later on in carrying out His mission of redemption. Not the erudition of a scribe nor the compassion of a disciple for his own dead father would be enough to qualify one to be a disciple of Christ. One had to be willing to put the Lord above everything, at any time and at any cost.

We were witness to the commitment and dedication of our regional formation director and two facilitators from BCBP Makati and BCBP Manila when they held the “Steward Leaders Training” workshop last Thursday to Saturday at the Dominican House of Prayer for 29 participants coming from different chapters and outreaches of our region. They said the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable in the inspiring songs of praise and worship which some new members of our music ministry rendered so beautifully. “Tongues” of praise were heard as the participants opened their hearts to the bidding of the Holy Spirit. It was truly a joyful and memorable experience to be involved in the stewardship formation of the potential leaders of our community, most of whom gained a more meaningful relationship with and a deeper commitment to the Lord. We all agreed that developing a higher level of commitment to God and community in that 3-day workshop was worth foregoing the luxury and comfort of family, sports or hobbies, or even lost business opportunities.

The conditions for following Jesus leave no room for concessions. As our Lord showed in His own passion and death, we must be focused and resolute in pursuing the ultimate purpose of our life, whatever conditions may prevail against it. In the Gospel reading of the anticipated mass on the last day of the workshop, Jesus fittingly said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (Lk.9:62).

The gate may be narrow and the road constricted (Mt.7:14), but once we have made the sincere commitment to follow our Lord Jesus, we realize (perhaps because of the Spirit’s gift of joy) that indeed His yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Mt.11:30).

We pray for Your Spirit’s guidance and inspiration, Lord God, that more dedicated leaders like Bro. Molly, Sis. Nancy and Sis. Beth may be involved in forming true stewards in the Brotherhood of our Lord Jesus. Grant that their commitment to serve in Your vineyard will never flag until the end of our days. Amen.

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