Genuine Discipleship

November 8, 2017
Wednesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Luke 14:25-33

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. Edgar R. Calma)

Joining an organized institution, organization or group will require application for membership. To become a member of a prestigious organization it will entail the completion and submission of requirements which are very personal such as basic information, academic background and career history. Some groups will even ask the potential member’s health condition and demand a certain level of commitment such as time, talent, skill and financial contributions. Moreover, some organizations would even require higher level of commitment, and relationship rooted in genuine discipleship.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks us to look into ourselves and see our readiness in responding to the call of discipleship. Jesus said to the crowd following him, “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” (Luke 14:26-27). For St. Luke, Jesus gave a very tall order to all those who wish to follow Him. The response entails leaving and renouncing everything for the sake of building the Kingdom of God. It means the total, unconditional, single-minded submission and resolute surrender in the call of discipleship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In our daily lives, discipleship is translated in our “detached attachment” disposition. This requires our ability to be detached with everything so we can only be attached to Jesus Christ. He is our priority and the only “One” who can satisfy our longings and desires in life. A detached attachment disposition recognizes that our attachments are part and parcel of life. In reality, we are attached to our family, possessions, positons and career in life. But this kind of disposition is fully secure and disciplined in a healthy balance of knowing how to detach and to attach oneself to a higher value and calling, which is the key to a committed, meaningful and selfless discipleship with Christ. To be truly configured to Christ, it demands living a life of humility, having the will power to endure humiliation, and willing to make personal sacrifices for the glory of God and our neighbor.

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