Gospel (Lk 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, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Last week, students arrived back to school and the fortunate found a toolbox of new school supplies waiting for them on their desks. Inside were carefully chosen items intended to help them in their desire to be successful students.
In Sunday’s gospel, Jesus helps us understand what we need in order to become successful disciples. He tells us that the most important thing we need to carry in our discipleship toolbox is love for Him.
Jesus wants to help us build the lives of discipleship that God intended for each one of us. He wants us to understand that love for Him generates love for others and a desire to serve them. Love for him not only inspires but also sustains the disciple.
Getting to know Jesus and growing to love him is the most important thing we can do to become His disciple. Without love for Him, we risk not being able to maintain our desire to follow Him. We risk running out of time or commitment or energy. We risk not becoming what God created us to be.
The builder in Jesus’ story risks running out of money before he can finish his creation. From the beginning, he doesn’t have what he needs to sustain him.
Each of us is God’s special creation. We are called to love Jesus so that we will always have what we need to successfully finish the great work God started in each of us.