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The conditions of discipleship

Gospel Reading: Mt 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?

For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

He will repay everyone according to his conduct
One’s conduct here is understood in terms of following Jesus, not just socially acceptable behavior.

When one desires to follow Jesus, one must conform to Jesus’ game plan. This is none other than the practice of self-denial. And self-denial means not giving in to one’s own tastes, preferences, and standards but closely adhering to what Jesus wills.

More, it demands taking up one’s cross. This refers to the responsibility that comes with discipleship. There is no disciple without work or burden for the group. One should be willing to do what is doable in the group.

Even more, the disciple should literally follow the way of Jesus that ends in suffering and death. If the disciple is unwilling to die with Jesus, he cannot follow him completely.

Finally, the disciple has to be detached from material things. Attachment to or the pursuit of material wealth and property disqualifies one from following Jesus. If one shows more interest in the world than in the Kingdom, he cannot be Jesus’ disciple.

Jesus will repay us according to how we have responded to his call to discipleship.

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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.