By Fr. Andrew Kelly
TWENTY THIRD SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPTEMBER 8, 2013
According to Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33), Jesus says communities and individuals “cannot be my disciples” unless:
“Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself…Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me … if you do not give up all your possessions.”
Jesus does not spell out the everyday practical implications of being a disciple. Every generation of believers must figure this out for themselves.
This is why Jesus told the story of the tower builder and the king anticipating a military campaign. Being a disciple calls for the same hard honest planning and strategy.
It is painfully difficult to ask, and then integrate what it means to live a life of self-surrender, self-emptying and self-abandonment (carrying the cross) while not at the same time abandoning and neglecting family promises and responsibilities.
Just as painful and difficult is the availability of possessions and resources for following Jesus in mission.
Is being a disciple of Jesus Christ easy? No. Is the practical application of Jesus’ demands easy to apply to everyday situations easy? No.
But these questions are the tasks and challenges of being 2013 disciples of Jesus Christ.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for Sept. 8-15
Phmn 9-10, 12-17
1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14
Ex 32:7-11, 13-14
1 Tm 1:12-17