Let us join together in praising and thanking God for our new bishop, the Most Rev.
Donald J. Hying, who was installed as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Madison this
past Tuesday, June 25th. His motto, “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8) is at the heart of the Gospel of Saint Luke this Sunday (Luke 9:51-62), as Jesus becomes “resolutely determined” to journey to Jerusalem, setting His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-62).
In His love for us, Jesus Christ turns to Jerusalem, where through His Passion, death
and Resurrection and His Ascension into Heaven, He will glorify God the Father.
In His love for us, Jesus once again calls His disciples to follow Him. He calls us to
respond to His love, to deepen our love for Him by our participation in His Paschal
Mystery (His Passion, death and Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven), knowing
that if we suffer with Christ, we will also be glorified in Him (Romans 8:14-39; 1 Peter
4:12-19). Jesus describes at least three qualities of discipleship (Luke 9):
First, disciples find rest in God. We find rest because we are “at home” with Jesus
Christ, in the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in doing His will
(e.g., loving God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves; praying; keeping the
Ten Commandments; promoting and defending the Faith entrusted to us; frequenting
the Sacraments, especially Confession and the Holy Eucharist).
Second, disciples “let the dead bury the dead.” In other words, Christian disciples
should not delay in following the Lord. There are no good excuses for not following
the Lord. Discipleship demands our full surrender to and trust in God the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit, Who in turn provides for all our needs. As Bishop Hying reminded
us last Tuesday, our answer to God each day is rooted in loving God with everything
and serving others with humble charity. The same charity, Bishop Hying said, that
chose to be born in poverty, heal the leprous, dine with sinners, raise the dead, wash
dirty feet, give humanity the Holy Eucharist and lay down on a terrifying Cross, and
love a thief, a traitor and a coward. Such love, such humble charity, is so far beyond
our human categories of what seems just and proper, it takes our breath away, he said.
Third, disciples put their hands to the plow and do not look back. Jesus Christ wants
us to give Him our all: physically, emotionally and spiritually. He knows our deep desire
to be loved and to love. He calls us to belong to Him (Romans 1:1-17; Galatians 3) –
and He says blessed are the single-hearted (Matthew 5:8), those who love God with all
their heart, mind and soul, and their neighbor as themselves. Again, as Bishop Hying
reminded us last week, we can love God because He has loved us first, and in His love
we discover the meaning and purpose of our life.
When we rest in the Lord, follow Him unreservedly, giving ourselves completely to
Him, then we experience evermore deeply our fulfillment: His Love (1 John 4). Then,
by our example, in words and deeds, we can, in truth and love, invite others to follow
Jesus Christ, the Only Savior of the world.
With peace and prayers in Christ,