03 September 2010

Cost of following Jesus. 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C, 5 September 2010

Gospel (Luke 14:25-33) [New American Bible]

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, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."


In today's gospel Jesus tells us that unless we renounce all our possessions we cannot be his disciples. What if someone has no possessions?

About six years ago I was visiting Holy Family Home in Makati City, the financial centre of the Philippines, run by the Capuchin Tertiary Sisters of the Holy Family. The home is for girls whose families live on the streetsor in extreme poverty. A 14-year-old girl who suffered from asthma and whose father was a blind beggar asked me a question that still astounds me: 'How can I offer my life to God?'

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