So much of today’s liturgy highlights that acceptance of vulnerability that is an integral part of a healthy spirituality, especially our own Passionist spirituality.
On this feast of “Good King Wenceslas” we remember a king a thousand years ago, who preferred to leave his palace to walk among the poor for whom he was responsible and was murdered by his power-hungry mother and brother.
Sharing this day as a feast is St Lorenzo Ruiz, a Filipino husband and father, four hundred years ago, discussed with his torturers in Japan, the possibility of denying Christ and being released, but overcame his doubts and left his life in God’s hands.
Job, in our first reading, lost everything he loved, and searched for answers, but the only path forward was to keep trusting that somehow God would make some sense of what was happening.
Then, in the gospel, Jesus reminds one would-be follower not to look for security, because Jesus had none even for himself -‘foxes have holes but I have nowhere to lay my head.” Another, who wants to go home and wait till his father has died, is reminded you have to act now, not later -“let me bury my father first”. His father isn’t dead yet. And then a third who wants to go home, not so much to say ‘goodbye’ as our translations say, but to get their permission. Following me, Jesus says, has to be your choice, no one else’s.
A lot of food for thought today
Fr Tom McDonough is the current provincial superior of Holy Spirit province.