23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 5, 2010
"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.
anyone of you who does not
renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple."
This week’s Gospel reading introduces one of the most important
aspects of the mystery of our faith;
the cost of discipleship.
That term itself, cost of discipleship, introduces an enigma,
for salvation is offered as a free gift. It’s no wonder that
some have become confused and seek to earn
that which can only be given; eternal life.
And some have become irresponsible, willing to invest nothing
for that which is so costly.
The thief on the cross is perhaps the best example of the
free gift of salvation. The thief did nothing to earn salvation.
His knowledge of Jesus was limited and his faith immature and
undeveloped—yet he had enough faith to ask,
“Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
To this meager faith Jesus freely grants salvation,
assuring the thief that,
“This day you will be with me in paradise.”
If the thief had been taken down from the
cross after Jesus' promise what
would have have been required of him?
For each of us there comes a time when we are
faced with the same decision as
the thief on the cross near Jesus.
What aspect of life do you struggle with
that hinders your wholehearted commitment?
Is it a possession, power or security?
What are the attachments that I need to love less
so that I can love Jesus more?