Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

At the conclusion of today’s gospel, we hear Jesus tell a “great crowd” that “…anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” A few of Jesus’ immediate disciples, such as Peter, John and James, did just that: They responded to Jesus’ call, renouncing everything to follow him. How do modern disciples of Jesus respond when confronted with this apparently harsh command of Jesus? Surely the renunciation of possessions need not mean literally giving all one’s possessions away, does it? Questions we might ponder this week though: Do our possessions keep us from encountering Christ at Mass? Do they distract us from our parish family? Do our possessions interfere with our relationships? Do they make us insensitive to those less fortunate?