1. Wis 9: 13-18b
2. Phlm.9b-10, 12-17
Luke 14:25-33

                               " ON DISCIPLESHIP"

I once received whatsapp text message from my friend which lead as, "1 Give God what is right and not what is left; 2) A lot of kneeling  will keep you in good standing; 3) He who keels before God can stand before anyone ; 4) In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma but never let him be the period( full stop) 5) are you wrinkled with burden? come to the Church for a facelift;  6) When praying don't give God instructions, just report for duty; 7) We don't  change God's message."

In our today's gospel Jesus speaks of authentic discipleship. He said: " 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," ( v.26). And the other one: " Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple," ( v.27).

Let us ask ourselves this question that why does Jesus seem to use a strong language that we must "hate" our families and even or own life? The meaning of discipleship is a total commitment to follow Christ and not to let anything, not even our own lives, stand in the way of finishing our course. One prominent theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, discipleship is to " abandon attachments to the world" and  to " surrender ourselves to Christ and union with His death."

In the gospel the  Lord ( Luke 14:25-33) the Lord mentions three reasons that block discipleship. The first block is Relationships. " If anyone comes to me without hating his mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters even his own life cannot be my disciple." The second block is Lack of perseverance. " This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish." The third block is Possessions. " Everyone of you who does not renounce his possessions cannot be my disciple." What is that blocking you from being the Lord's disciple? What is it that is preventing you from doing your mission for the Lord?

What can we say with regard to the expression " to hate"?  this often meant " to prefer less" or " love less" Jesus used strong language as I have said before to  make clear that nothing should take precedence or first place in our lives over God. To be in the first place is everyone's dream. Like for example: " I want to be the best in my career;" " I want my company to be the leader in the industry" and so on and so forth.

Let us also go to the second statement about carrying of one's cross. The cross is the symbol of Christianity.  Crosses mark or churches and adorn our altars. We begin and end our prayers with the sign of the cross. At the close of Mass the priest blesses the people by moving his right hand in the form of a cross. We are so familiar with this symbol and we are in danger to forget that in the beginning  it was not a mere ornament or symbol but a most efficient form of capital punishment. When Luke in today's gospel refers to a disciple taking up the cross, he uses the words " carry his cross,"( v.27). The Greek word for " to carry" is "bastazo." This is the same word that Luke used to refer to Jesus carrying His Cross to Calvary ( Lk 23:26). As such Luke literally expected the disciples of Jesus to follow in His suffering and death.

At the end of this reflection let us reflect on the following article. This article has ten most wanted persons, by reading and understanding this article I think we will live and practice what this article says about the ten most wanted persons, the ten most wanted persons are:

The  person who tries to be the right example to every child rather than talking about it.
The person who has a passion to help rather than a passion to be helped.
The person who is willing to say, " I was wrong, I was sorry."
The person who will look at temptation squarely and say," No!"
The person who puts God's business above any other.
The person who throws himself totally into a project, then give a credit for its success to his helpers.
The person who has a ready smile and a pat on the back for others.
The person who brings his children to Church rather than sending them alone.
The person who can see his own faults before he sees the faults of others.
The person who gives his money, time and talent without thought of return.

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Chapisha Maoni