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Sayings on discipleship

Gospel Reading: Lk 14:25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 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? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’

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? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”

Jesus warns the crowds regarding the cost of discipleship. Discipleship requires the giving up of all possessions and “hatred” of one’s family. “To hate” is a Semitic expression that means “to turn away from, to detach oneself from.” Any person attached to possessions and family has to abandon them in order to have a share in the banquet of God’s Kingdom.

Jesus uses the analogies of a builder about to construct a tower and of a king about to engage in battle to emphasize that those who follow him must seriously consider whether they can persevere in their initial decision.

The conflict of discipleship with family and wealth will be especially difficult for people who come from elite and wealthy families, because to be disciples of Jesus means to associate with people of low status.

To be worthy of the name “Christian” (follower of Jesus Christ), we must give up our social and economic attachments and reach out to the marginalized members of society.

We must detach ourselves from anything that is contrary to the Gospel values so that we can attach ourselves to God.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.