13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

What if your life was just one big dream. What if everything you think you have experienced in this world comes to an end when you wake up and you find yourself in bed realizing what I thought was my entire life was just a dream. Of course, that is a crazy thought, but I think all of us have had those days or moments in our life where we wished it was a dream. We wished we would just wake up and whatever the challenge or whatever the problem was would be gone; just a bad dream.

Friends, while our life is not a dream, I think many of us get in the habit of sleep walking through life. We wake up, we cook breakfast, we go to work, we come home, we have dinner, maybe we do something else, then we go to bed, only to wake up and do it all again. Even in our closest relationships, how often are we just in autopilot? How often do we just go through life, just go through the motions?

Well in today’s Gospel, Jesus is telling us to wake up. He is telling us it is time for us to, to arise; to be shaken free. There is something more that God has for us. Life isn’t about just being comfortable and just doing something day in and day out. No, Jesus teaches us in the gospels, that He has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly.[1]

I think the challenge for allot of us is that we wait until our backs are against the wall to reach out to Jesus. Jesus is the last resort. When there is no other hope, then we ask Jesus for help. In today’s gospel, why did this woman wait 12 years to go and find Jesus? 12 years of suffering. Why does this synagogue official wait until his daughter is on her death bed before he reaches out to Jesus? But, friends, are we really much different? Do we reach out to Jesus day in and day out or do we wait until things get totally unbearable before we make that cry for help?

Friends, we all have struggles and we all have challenges. Even when life is seemingly going well there is always something. Why then aren’t we turning to the Lord? Why then are we like that woman or that synagogue official? You know sadly, in my work in medical ethics, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat around listening to doctors discuss treatment options only to hear them say I wish they would have visited me 6 months ago, or if this patient would have just come to me a couple months ago, there would be something we could do. Maybe you’ve experienced it, you have some kind of pain or ache but you put off going to the doctor and so by the time you go to the doctor the treatment is much worse than it would have been if we would have only gone in the beginning. The same is true across the board in our life and the same is true in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Why do we wait? Why isn’t turning to the Lord a daily part of our lives.

Look, how many times have you heard someone stand at a pulpit like this and say turn to the Lord. I think part of the problem is we are not really sure how because we stand here and tell you to do it, but we don’t tell you how. Let me give you a quick three step process.

  1. You want to talk to Jesus; it is as simple as prayer. Turn to Jesus, share with Him your joys and sorrows; those things that have you concerned and those things that are horizon or places where your back is against the wall. Sure, you say to me, well He already knows it. He does, but He wants you to share it. Parents you know this. You know when your kids are in trouble long before they do, but you still want them to come to you when they are in trouble. Parents you know often what your kids are thinking before they ever say, but you still want to hear it from your children. The same is true with God. Take the time to tell Him what is going on.
  2. You want to know Jesus solution to your problems; you want to know Jesus’s response is? Open the Bible and read it. The Scriptures are God’s love letter to us. They are the inspired Word of God. If we want to know what God thinks, then we have to read it. Talk to God, learn from God.
  3. If you want to experience God, then come to the sacraments. In just a few moments we will receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus will physically come and dwell inside of us. What closer experience of God can we have? The sacraments are the points where we can touch God. If you want to experience God, come to Mass, go to confession, live the sacramental life.

My friends, Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.[2] He is here. We don’t have to wait until things get too difficult or too unbearable. He is always around the corner for us to turn to Him in prayer. He always has something to say to us in the scriptures. He is always ready to be with us in the sacraments. Why then are we sleep walking through life. Why then is Jesus the last resort instead the first hope?

Wake up! Jesus came that we might have life and that we might have it abundantly. Why then do we sleep walk through life. Wake up, and allow Him to give you the life that He has prepared for you.

[1] John 10:10

[2] John 10:10

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