Giving others a leg up

BY DR JOHN FRAUENFELDER

First, two stories:

A star football player went up to Jesus and asked: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Go to the local playground and help set up an after-school program for kids at risk.” The football player’s face fell, and he went away sad, because his dream was focussed on furthering his own career.

A woman had just buried her sister who had died of cancer asked Jesus: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” With great compassion for her, Jesus said, “Go, put aside your grief for your dear sister, and give your time to help raise money for cancer research.” The woman’s face fell, and she went away sad, because the loss of her sister was still too painful.

We have a good sense of how the rich young man feels.  Yes, Jesus asks everything of us as the cost of being his disciple, but Jesus asks only what we have, not what we do not have. Each one of us possesses gifts and resources, skills and assets given to us by God for the work of making the kingdom of God a reality in the here and now.

Often, I suspect, we are unable to choose the things of God over things we own, things that have come to us only as a result of God’s providence.

Authentic discipleship demands more than token contributions, and the blind following of rituals and traditions; our baptism into the life of Christ compels us to focus every dimension of our lives on the things of God.

To be a disciple of Christ invites us to reorder our priorities, to restructure our days so as to make time for the things of God.

— Dr John Frauenfelder, Catholic Schools Office, Broken Bay 

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