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. At first glance, this seems contrary to Jesus’s message of loving God and neighbor. Jesus is asking us: “Am I the #1 priority in your life?” When we answer “yes”, then we value our prayer time, our worship at Mass…family is important and so is helping others, i.e. we make a commitment to all of these…
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. The cross separates us from anything that prevents us from following Christ faithfully. Our cross can be many things, such as physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual suffering, loss of a dear loved one, loss of a job, difficulties within the family etc. Jesus does not leave us alone to carry our cross. Jesus promised to be with us always. He gives us graces through the sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. We have the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In the same way, who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple. Jesus is inviting us to focus on what are the truly important things of life. We choose Jesus over accumulating possessions, honor, fame, power etc. We hear in today’s Psalm: Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Psalm 90 also reminds us to maintain an “eternal perspective”: For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night.
Jesus invites us to think if there is anything in our lives that prevents us from following Him closer, from making a total commitment? If there is, we ask for Jesus’s love and mercy to eliminate it. We trust that Jesus will show us the way to be fully committed to following Him.
God bless us all always!