The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
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 Jamora, Jr.):
Discipleship requires detachment. I believe this is the main theme of today’s Gospel. Jesus was clear in saying, “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.” (Luke 14:26) We must be totally detached from anything and anyone if we are to follow Jesus. There is no excuse or any other reason but to strip ourselves of whatever except God.
I can say that those who have dedicated their lives for others have become selfless and have loved. The health care volunteers, who risk their lives in saving people; the OFW’s, who denounced their happiness of being with their families to work abroad; the security guards, who secure the premise and people in their place of assignment; the members of the army, who risk their very life to protect the citizens from terrorism, these are just some acts of doing something for others. These are acts and signs of loving others more than oneself.
Priesthood also comes with the call to be selfless and loving. The decision to leave the family, work, friends, lifestyle is in some way an act of detachment and self-giving, although this act would only be genuine if it is integrated within a person’s disposition.
The senior seminary depicts this selfless giving of oneself to God, to His Church, and most of all to the faithful. We are formed to be more and more like and for Jesus. We are constantly being challenged to purify our intention of totally giving ourselves to God.
Perhaps my act of self-giving is the decision of giving up a good career path, and a dream of having my own family. I am constantly renewing and affirming my ‘Yes’ to the call of God to serve Him in His ministerial priesthood every day and every step of the way. Perhaps, you are also being called by God to serve Him through the religious or priestly vocation. May be this message is God’s way of calling you to concretize your selfless act in serving Him as His priest.