September 8, 2013: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.” (Luke 14:25-33)
Today’s Gospel has some startling words, “If you want to come after me and do not hate your mother and father…”
Can this really be Jesus who talks so much about love?
Jesus is looking for disciples; a disciple is one who is willing to be taught. If you are really willing to be taught, you will listen, ask questions, and listen again.
Sometimes we feel like life is asking a lot: we don’t make the team, we fail the test, our mom gets sick. Things change! These are the crosses Jesus is talking about; they require new choices.
Can we stop and plan again? Can we really change? We have to keep going to Jesus and saying, “Help!” Of course, that means someday we’ll say, “Thanks,” because we will notice that we really did get help. In this way we will keep following Jesus.
Set aside some time to think and plan. Make a list of two or three things you want to accomplish by the end of the school year. Share these goals with an adult and maybe one of your school friends. Keep copies where you can look at them.