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The Fifth Agreement
"Go and spread the news of the Kingdom of God"
(Luke 9:60).
"Rusty" Schweickart was one of three American Astronauts
on the Apollo 9 space mission. After his return, he had this
to say about the experience:
"When you fly in space and you look in at the earth, it is
indeed an incredibly beautiful place. I can't tell you what a
difference it makes in the way you feel, and in the way you
relate to the earth after that experience. When you fly around
it again and again, the world comes to you in a different way.
You see it in a different way. It doesn't come in through the
head. It comes in through the heart."
Today's Gospel is a Lesson that can only be fully experienced
through the heart. Jesus and some disciples are traveling
along a road when they encounter a would-be follower who
says, "I will follow You wherever You go." Jesus replies,
"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the
Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" (Lk. 9:57-58). Then
another man comes along and Jesus says, "Follow Me!" The
man replies, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first." To which
Jesus answers, "Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty
is to go and spread the news of the Kingdom of God." And to
still another would-be follower, Jesus says, "Once the hand is
laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the Kingdom
of God" (Lk. 9:59-60,62).
Jesus is talking to the would-be disciples about priorities. He
says that those who have given their faith must also give their
life -- not when it becomes convenient to do so, but now; not
after worldly interests have been attended to, but now. "Go and
proclaim the Kingdom of God," Jesus says, meaning right now.
Place your life under the Rule of God now, and attend to all your
family interests and all your worldly interests within that context.
It was for those would-be followers, just as it is for us now, not
enough to understand this intellectually. Jesus was telling them
just as He is telling us that the only place we can accept this
commitment is at the deepest level of our beings. In other words,
not through the head, but through the heart."
(Sunday Sermons Online)

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