TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
September 4, 2016Wis 9,13-1
When I was young boy, there were times when my mother or father would use hard words (not harsh) to explain to me the realities I needed to understand. Some of those times, I accepted the truth and obeyed my parents. There were times I resented the truth.
The truth of discipleship or the cost of discipleship is a hard reality. Perhaps this is the reason Jesus chose the word hate and renunciation. The reality of discipleship becomes harder when it would demand that I hate even my own life. I believe that Jesus wanted to stress emphatically the point that following him could not be considered a part-time commitment. He demanded a full commitment to those who wanted to follow him. This commitment includes leaving those I love and cherish in my life. It includes sacrificing possessions, cherished relationships and my own priorities. Jesus becomes my only cherished possession. Jesus becomes my only love. his vision and mission become my own and my priority.
Now that I understand the weight and the enormity of the task of discipleship, I cannot just jump into it without thinking. Jesus shows me that I should not just depend on feelings or emotions in following him. I must use my intelligence to discover what's at stake in embarking on this journey of discipleship. How much should it cost me? What is demanded of me? Can I sustain it? Do I have enough ammunition of strength, power, goodwill and practical thinking to face the challenges that are part and parcel of discipleship?
I believe that when reality slaps me hard on the face to be reminded of my commitments to God, to Jesus, I should not resent it, but squarely confront the truths. I realize that as much as I am very emotionally charged in following Jesus, I need also to have a practical mind and a lot of goodwill and be accepting of the hard truths that would fall into my lap as I follow Jesus.
Fr. Patricio R. delos Reyes, Jr., SVD (Liceo del Verbo Divino - Tacloban City)
The Word In Other Words