Click: Audio Homily
Have you seen the 1976 movie “Rocky” featuring Sylvester Stallone? Can you imagine what it’s like to watch it in Korean? As I watched the movie as a child in Korea, that was my first encounter with what’s called the American dream. In the movie, Rocky Balboa was a rough on the edges and an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rocky starts out as a small-time boxer, but later gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. Rocky’s trainer Mickey always considered Rocky’s potential to be better than his effort—telling Rocky that he had heart but also called him by endearing titles such as, “tomato” and “bum.” Through determination and hard training, Rocky was able to fight the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and persevere for 15 grueling rounds. When the movie was over, as the Rocky theme music was playing in the background, I stepped out of the theater brimming with enthusiasm that I could achieve greatness like Rocky if I would just apply myself with determination.
Jesus challenges us, just as he did with Peter, to let go of what is comfortable and predictable--that is, our own will. Heavenly Father has a unique mission for each of us. Do we have the courage to let go and say yes to this mission? Courage is connected with taking risks. Some think that examples of courage are bungee jumping off of a bridge, climbing Mt. Everest, or crossing the ocean in a rowboat--where people risk their lives. None of these daredevil acts come from the centre of our being. Rather, they all come from the desire to test our physical limits and to become famous and popular. Spiritual courage is something completely different. Spiritual courage is following the deepest desires of our hearts at the risk of losing fame and popularity. It asks of us the willingness to lose our temporal lives in order to gain eternal life.