Homily — 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time C 9-9-7

Homily — 23rd Sunday Ordinary Time C                 9-9-7

In the Gospel today we read of two individuals who are embarking on massive undertakings:

One is a person who is constructing a tower.  The other is a King who is planning to go to battle with another King.

Try to imagine if you will, that you are that person who is constructing that tower.  Imagine that it is a security tower which will be used to protect you and your community from harm, and that you are the person who must see to it that it’s built properly.

Think of all the things you would need to be concerned about:  the right materials: steel, concrete, wood, blueprints and designs made up by architects and engineers,

You need to be sure you build it in the right location, and that the defense system you’re putting in the tower will really defend and give you early enough warning of an attack.

You’ll need to employ builders, carpenters, stone masons, computer people and electricians and see to it that their not ripping you off.

Then there’s DEM, the state, federal regulations, the fire marshall that you’ll have to comply with as well.

Finally, if this is going to be a real defense tower, it will be up to you to find the funds to pay for all this.

Clearly, the person who is in charge of overseeing the construction of a defense tower has a lot on his or her plate.

Now if you will, imagine you’re that King in the second parable, a King needing to prepare for war.

Think of all the things you would need to be concerned about:  making sure you had good weapons and armor, that you had wise Officers you could rely on, trained soldiers in good physical shape, a well planned out strategy for winning, and a well planned exit strategy.

As King, you’ll need also to be sure you know the enemy you’re facing inside and out.  You need to be sure morale stays high amongst your troops.  And finally, you are probably these days going to have to deal with protesters who oppose the war you are getting ready to fight!
Both the King and the Tower Builder have one thing in common:  they are doing something that will require a total, whole hearted, long term daily commitment on their parts.

And this is Jesus’ point in giving us these two parables.  To follow after Him as a disciple is going to be for us as massive an undertaking as building a defense tower or leading an army off to war.

Discipleship will require a total, whole hearted, long term commitment on our part.

Like that tower builder, we will need to daily assess how the work is progressing, taking inventory of what’s been accomplished so far, the graces and virtues we’ve grown in, and what still needs to be done.

We will daily, through examining our consciences, need to assess the weak spots in the plan that have been uncovered during construction, that is our sins, and rectify them before it’s too late.

We will also each day need to look down the road and foresee the potential challenges that lie ahead of us, planning for them ahead of time so that they don’t catch us off guard.

Finally, discipleship, like building a tower or waging war, will require our utmost attention until the work is finished, until the tower is built or the battle is won.

And for us disciples of Christ, the battle is over when we breath our last breath.

So may today’s Gospel help us realize what a massive undertaking it is to say yes to following Jesus.  It is not something we want to do lightly, but rather something we need to put all we have into, lest we won’t have enough resources to build that impregnable tower of faith, lest we won’t win that war over sin and death by surrendering all we have to Christ the King of Kings.

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