Following Christ

Every once in a while, I celebrate Mass for the Green Archers. At a very young age, because of media and social media, these kids are already dealing with fame: they are talked about. they are recognized and some already get to endorse products.

What people don’t see are the “behind the scenes” – the sacrifices they make, less time with the family and less social life, hard work and training; and being told what to do by the coaching staff.

Not only in sports but as in life, if you really want something, you have to do anything and everything.

In the Gospel today, Jesus reminded the would-be disciples of the behind-the-scenes. Three things Christ mentioned:

  1. A would-be disciple must make God the most important in life. The words of Christ to a would-be disciple seemed harsh, “Let the dead bury the dead.” Yet, it is only because Christ knew that the would-be disciple was giving the burial of the father as an excuse and not as a reason.  
  2. A would-be disciple must be able to Trust God. “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” In other words, when following God, expect no security from the material things. God alone should be the security, as he can be trusted.
  3. A would-be disciple must give it all. On a personal note, when I was discerning for priesthood, I was bargaining to the Lord, why can’t I just stay in the corporate world and do good? Why give all up and be a priest? The Lord demands all because the returns are even more: “siksik, liglig at umaapaw.”

Hence today in this Mass, we celebrate the Memorial of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint who was martyred in Japan. He went to Japan to escape imprisonment but God had other plans. His words before he died were, “If I have a thousand lives… I will still give them all to God.”

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