September 4, 2016 — Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
At the end of today’s Gospel Reading from St. Luke, Jesus says a lot about what it means to be His disciple — the demands and the expectations. As His final statement in the reading, He says, “…anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
This is another case where the translation from the original Greek may produce misunderstanding. Most of us understand the word “renounce” as meaning “reject” or “hand over.” However, another meaning of the Greek word might be “to say goodbye to.” That is the real message, and it is one with a strong stewardship element.
What the Lord may be trying to communicate is our possessions can stand in the way of being His disciple and being a good steward. It is a question of trust. Trust is at the center of a stewardship way of life. Jesus tells us that we need to trust in Him to a greater extent than in ourselves or in what we may possess. That is, of course, not easy for us.
Nevertheless, to place our trust in the Lord is exactly what it means to be His disciple. Psalms perfectly captures the challenge we face and provides the answer to the challenge as well. In Psalms we are told: “Man says to God, ‘Show me and I will trust You.’ And God replies “Trust me and I will show you’.”