The Cost of Discipleship

Jun 25, 2019

Gospel Reflection, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
1 Kings 19: 16b, 19-21; Galatians 5: 1, 13-18; Luke 9: 51-62

The Cost of Discipleship

Jesus is resolutely determined to go on his way.  And he seems harsh to those who want to follow him.  To one, he points out that he is homeless and has nowhere to rest his head.  To another who wants to bury his father first, he says, “Let the dead bury their dead, but you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  To a third, he says, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.

Is he being too harsh?  But then how do we go our way – hesitantly or in decided fashion?  Is there a goal that we know we must reach?  Are our lives marked by a clear purpose or do we muddle through alternating between duty and entertainment?  Jesus gives his followers a sense of direction and showed them the meaning of life.  He said that the kingdom of God was at hand.  And it is now.

People in the gospel today are trying to follow him.  Some had been with him for quite a while.  They are enthusiastic supporters of Jesus.  When he was not welcomed, they asked, “lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”  They were ready to declare a holy war.  But Jesus rebukes them.  His goal was Jerusalem.  There he intends to give up his very life for all – not to compel them to do anything, but to free them from the compulsion of sin.  That is what they have to learn from him so as to become like him themselves.

This is the way of love and it requires courage and strength.  But we know that Jesus will give us the grace to do whatever he really calls us to do.  For the past two thousand years so many men and women have left everything to follow him on the adventure of discipleship.  If you asked them, would they say that they regretted it?  I don’t think so.  We find that we overcome our weaknesses and our doubts.  We find true meaning in life when we truly follow him with all of our hearts.

Father Tony