The old t-shirt


The old t-shirt

So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” (Luke 14:33)

We all have that old t-shirt, a ragged pair of jeans, or well wore running shoes that we don’t want to get rid of, right? So why do we hold on to a color faded t-shirt with a non-recognizable logo on the front of it, because it’s been washed a thousand times? After all, the holes in our torn jeans are truly not a fashion statement! Even though they don’t have any sentimental or emotional value to us, they are just so comfortable. Simply ours.

When Jesus tells us to “give up all your possessions”, he isn’t making a suggestion, but rather He’s presenting a requirement in becoming his disciple. Certainly, he refers to the material possessions, but doesn’t limit our attachments to them. In order to become his disciples, we have to focus on him – not on us. We have to give up our “possessions” of personal opinion, unhealthy behaviors or a closeminded view of the world and the ways that the things should be according to us. We have to empty ourselves, allowing God to fill us with his grace, equipping us to fulfil his mission in this very place and time.

On Monday August 15th, 2022, the community of the Oblate General House in Rome gathered around the statue of the Oblate Madonna in the Chapel of the General house. That day marked the 200th Anniversary of the special experience of consolation that St. Eugene de Mazenod received as he prayed before the statue of the Oblate Madonna.

In his reflection, our Superior General Fr. Louis Lougen OMI said, “I agree with the Founder,

…our Congregation is truly inspired by God and contains within it not only the seeds of grace, but has become a great tree, bearing abundant fruit to this day. Our Congregation is indeed worthy and has achieved immeasurable good for the Church and continues to do so. Our mission is sublime and our Rule of life has helped us as a guide to salvation and holiness.” He also pointed out that in order to fulfil this mission, “We have the responsibility to prune this great tree with wisdom and discernment so that it continues to evangelize with vitality.”

Pruning, just like throwing out the old t-shirt, is not an easy task. On a congregational level, it will require difficult decisions to leave long established traditional Oblate ministries. To refocus personnel and resources into the ministries God calls us to today. To embrace with hope new and unknown mission fields. On a personal level, pruning helps us to discern our own vocation; our place and role in God’s mission of today. It’s truly about giving up all our “possessions”, because “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)

Now is the time to toss our old t-shirts of our material as well as our opinionated attachments. Discovering vocation is not about holding onto our own desires and self-fulfillment of dreams.

Let’s have the courage to put a new garment on God’s vision for our life and the mission entrusted to us.

Just get rid of that old t-shirt!

By Jarek Pachocki, OMI
OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Director
WhatsApp (905) 379-7017
Instagram @jarekpach
Twitter @jarekpachocki