“If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple. Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
Oh my goodness, the Lord is asking me to hate my family members! Surely this can’t be? And I know I have to carry my cross but sometimes it seems so heavy, so painful. Then Jesus adds “none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.” But I need my house with all its fittings, my car, my Smart Phone and really everything in my possession! What am I to do?
Well, before you curl up into a heap please go on reading. Family ties were very deep-seated in the Palestinian culture but Jesus is asking though that these have to come after commitment to Him. Jesus is not asking us not to love our mother, father and family. Of course not. He loved, indeed loves His Mother and his foster-father St. Joseph.
As regards possessions , “the challenge has to be heard in the context of the invitation to the Kingdom central to Jesus’ message.” Possessions can get it the way if we are so preoccupied with them that there is no time for the thought of this invitation to eternal happiness. Prayer can go out the window together with the reception of the Sacraments. The road being trod is indeed hard but we are walking without the help of grace.
Yes, the cross can at times seem a burden, but Jesus gave us an example of perseverance to the end. And what happened? Well, he rose again and the cross was forgotten but He had saved us all from our sins and eternal death.
So please check on those possessions of yours and surrender your life into the Heart of Jesus, lifting up your cross daily and the Lord will provide for your necessary needs and carry your cross with you. And you will indeed be his disciple.
I certainly think that THAT is the better commitment, the better choice to make.
Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP