Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Do we have what it takes to “finish the work?” It might be a good idea to check on that. Jesus seems to suggest taking an inventory of our spiritual “resources.” How strong is the foundation of our faith? What kind of preparation are we putting in?
The first reading from today’s Mass reminds us that it all starts with love. God, as three persons, is a community of love (Romans 13: 8-10). It flows out to us, so that we can know and understand what love is, then share it with our neighbor. Love your neighbor as yourself.
But wait, didn’t Jesus just mention hating our parents in today’s Gospel? What? This discipleship stuff is serious business. It requires letting go of (or not putting as number one) a lot of worldly attachments in order to focus fully on what’s important – accepting and responding to the great love that flows to us through Christ.
—Rita Zyber is RCIA and Confirmation Coordinator at St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
What then, shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us … For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 8:31, 38-39