The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop
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,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
Reflection (Sem. Ramon C. Jamora Jr.)
One of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyal gives us a better understanding and disposition in approaching today’s Gospel. St. Ignatius speaks of being indifferent to all created beings. In John J. English S.J’s book Spiritual Freedom appears this quote of the said saint: “Indifference means we are so consumed by love for Christ (which is actually Christ’s love for us) that we are free of all else.”
The simplest way to understanding indifference is that we need to detach ourselves from what is unnecessary in our relationship with God. If it leads us away from God, then let go. If it helps us move closer to God, then allow it to journey with us, whether it is a person or a thing. Our goal in making a choice is to follow freely and entirely what God chooses. To be indifferent is a fundamental factor in our freedom, the freedom that is always open to God’s loving voice.
To be a disciple of Jesus, we are called to be indifferent to created things. God becomes the center of our life. Our vocation – may it be married life, singled-blessedness or priesthood – needs to be free. Following God means following only Him and no one else even the self.
I now invite you to pause and look into yourself. Who or what hinders you from being free for Jesus? Who or what blocks your sight in seeing Jesus only? What are you ready to let go of to be free for Jesus?