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in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1878
Reflections on the Daily Readings
from the Perspective of Creighton Students

September 8th, 2013
Sam Eiffert
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[129] Wis 9:13-18b
Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14+17
Phlm 9-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33. 

"In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions 
cannot be my disciple.”

When I moved home this past summer, I was shocked at the amount of stuff I owned. There were stacks upon stacks of books that I had no intention of reading, piles of clothes that I no longer wear, baskets of clutter that was in a word, overwhelming. I took a step back and assessed where I was when I first left for college and where I am now. I realized that before, I had somehow in the daily ins and outs of life, become identified with what I owned; I had become emotionally attached to my things.

I don't know what began the mindset shift for me, but I imagine it had something to do with my semester in the Dominican Republic. I had one suitcase and a carry-on, and that was it. And after I realized how little I actually needed, it seemed strange that I was holding on to so much stuff at home. I think one of the reasons I continued to hold on to stuff was because having familiar things was comforting through times of change.

I don't think it is practical to take this quote about renouncing all of your possessions literally. But what seems clear, though, is that one cannot be a disciple if he or she is imprisoned by or finds his or her worth in things. This past summer, I gave away everything that I had not used in the past year and anything that I knew I would not need. It has been a freeing process. Perhaps what Jesus meant was that we ought to rid ourselves of excess and find our value in who we are as people and not by what we own. We will be free to experience change in a healthy way without living in the past, and we will be free to see others and ourselves the way that God sees us--as inherently valuable.

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