Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on September 8, 2013

c022d2f803eb195e72ffca68808129ea_w600Gospel reading of the day:

Luke 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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Luke tells us that Jesus turned to address the crowds. This suggests that Jesus was leading while the crowds were following. But Jesus recognizes that the people following him do not understand the implications of coming the way he is taking, so he implicitly challenges the crowds. The root condition for traveling with Jesus is spiritual freedom; to be Jesus’ followers we cannot be attached to family, possessions, or even our lives. Using two parables, one of a man building a tower and another of a king contemplating a battle, Jesus warns his would-be disciples that they should weigh carefully their ability to finish the project before they commence it. If we are not able to prefer Jesus to family, possessions, and our own lives, we are fooling ourselves about the quality of our discipleship.

Spiritual reading: The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. But we are perfectly happy. (Mother Teresa)


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