Don’t start something you can’t finish.
That’s what Jesus is saying in the Gospel today. But that’s not new wisdom, that’s been around since the beginning. It’s old stuff.
But Jesus is giving us something new. He’s giving us the key to it. He’s giving us the secret to finishing what we start. Are you ready? Here it is:
You’ve got to hand over in order to finish.
What does that mean?
A little later in the Gospel, Jesus has His last supper with his disciples. He’s been with them for 3 years, and they are very important to Him. They’re the ones who have stayed with Him through all His trials, they’re the ones with whom He’s entrusted everything He’s heard from His Father, they’re the ones who He’s going to give a kingdom to. But now He has to leave them, He has to go and suffer and die to fulfill the Scripture, to complete His mission. There’s a part of Him that doesn’t want to leave them.
So what does He do?
Well, right after the last meal, just before He’s supposed to leave them, He takes some time aside for some one-on-one with His Father. He tells His Father how grateful He is for receiving these disciples, how He has fulfilled His time with them, and He asks His Father to bless them and take care of them. In other words, He hands them over to His Father. Now He’s ready to finish His mission.
I am leaving for about 3 weeks or so to go back to Boston, and then come back. I’m planning on doing a lit of visiting while I’m home, getting some important things done that I can only do in person. But there’s only thing I have scheduled so far there’s only one thing I have fixed firmly in my calendar. I have some prayer time scheduled. So I can hand everyone and everything over to God.
And then finish my mission.
We have things in life that we’ve begun, important things. Maybe a marriage and family, maybe a career path, a friendship, a calling to a special vocation, a dream that we’ve begun to pursue. We’re going to be tempted to give up on it. We’re going to recognize that there are some things we’ve grown attached to and a part of us doesn’t want to leave. But Jesus has given us the secret to finishing the mission. Put aside a little time with God, and hand everything over in prayer.
Because you’ve got to hand over to finish.
“Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:33)