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. Francis James Mendiola):
Today’s Gospel talks about absolute commitment. I added absolute because more often than not I hear people saying I cancelled my commitment for other commitments. The commitment that Jesus is talking about is something that transcends other things that you might have or is important in your life.
In short, following him is a process of letting go. A friend of mine once said that there are two reasons why we do things, love and fear. I find a parallelism in the reasons why we let go of certain things. The first reason why we let go is because we have to. We have to because it is detrimental, maybe you’re allergic to something, or you don’t want to get sweaty, or you want to loose weight. This is letting go BECAUSE, there is reason.
The other type of letting go, the one that surpasses mother, father, wife etc. is letting go because you love. I am not saying that love for family is wrong. It’s just that the love for God should come first.
It is easy to let go of things, when someone asks you for 500 and you have 1000 it’s not so hard to give. But then if someone asks you 1000 when you only have 1000 its very hard. I was like this a couple of years ago. I loved the youth and I do contribute to the food during practices I sacrifice time and energy for them, but I never gave my all. That is until I got to know our coordinator in the youth tita A. It is in her house that we do the practices. It is her electricity, her water her utensils her furniture. I got a peak of the electricity and water bill we’ve racked up just by staying there. Even her time we consume, whenever we go out on Saturdays, Sundays, late nights on weekend. During all these time I never saw her buy anything new or expensive. As a senior manager for Vis-Min she should have more than enough to buy stuff. But then again I remembered all that we were taking away from her.
After realizing this I said I could do more, 90% of what I earn went to the youth. But for some reason, I still go to the coffee shop every day, I got home even without having no money left. I still ate at various restaurants and was never hungry. I felt so blessed to bless a lot of people, and I was so blessed that God looked out for me so much so that I received not just monetary recompense but bonds of friendship that I still enjoy up to now. I never thought that I could be so generous, or dedicated, or loving but, it only goes to show that it only takes your willingness to follow Jesus and He will fill up whatever is missing in your life and even more than enough for what you need.