Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Anyone who keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.” All of us like to hang on to memories, pictures of old friends, circumstances the way they used to be. However, these ‘hangers on,’ loose some sense of who is in charge of things.

There was an Olympic gold medal gymnast, Nadia Comaneci whose trainer was Bela Karolyi. He was an international figure in the world of gymnastics. Being from a Soviet Bloc Nation, the government sponsored his every move. He trained so many bright stars in gymnastics the communist regime gave him whatever he thought he needed to succeed.

In the end, he realized that the material wealth he had accumulated meant nothing without freedom, so he walked away and never looked back. He died in 1997 in Huntsville Texas.

“Anyone who keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.” Bela Karolyi is a good example of what Jesus meant today in the Gospel. As Christians, we too are expected to seek after true freedom that comes only from Christ. As Christians, we are expected not to look back on the material burdens of our lives but to see forward the new life Jesus promises if we will only trust in His love.

Kenneth Hildenbrand once said, “Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes.” Our purpose is to follow Christ to heaven! Our faith makes us strong enough to fulfill that purpose by setting us free and encountering Christ in others