9/4/2022 (Sunday) Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33
25 Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them,
26 “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
28 Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?
29 Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him
30 and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
31 Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
32 But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
33 In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
9/4/2022 (Sunday) Today’s Gospel Reflection: Luke 14:25-33
Jesus demands a high standard of living for His followers. The gospel reading above shows us that He does not want any competitor for His attention. He wants His followers to give Him their total focus, full commitment, and undivided loyalty.
The use of the word “hate” may be too strong but it means even family should not stand in the way of following Jesus. We note in Matthew 22:36-40 that the greatest and number 1 commandment is to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind. Thus, everything in our life including family and possessions should only be secondary.
It is no wonder then that in Luke 12:51-53, Jesus taught us about division in the family on account of His message. Also in Matthew 19:16-24, He tells us that a rich man can hardly enter the Kingdom of God. Indeed, the cost of discipleship is great. No one should follow Jesus without doing the accounting of pluses and minuses.
Question: What are you willing to give up for the sake of following Jesus?
While Jesus wants us to give up worldly possessions, He promises us more than what we can renounce. This is one of the paradoxes of discipleship. If we leave everything to follow Him, He will give us a return on investment a hundred times (Matthew 19:27). We give up earthly riches but according to Saint Paul, we become heirs of the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:17). Therefore, let us never think that following Jesus is a losing proposition. The promise of eternal life is much, much better than material possessions or even family.
Our attachment to worldly things is a big obstacle in deepening our relationship with God. Jesus is calling each one of use to be attached to Him and to be detached from the world. For it is only in letting go of these attachments that we can be able to fully experience the peace and joy that Jesus offers.