“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)
Without adequate preparation, we are hardly guaranteed success in any venture. He who fails to plan actually plans to fail. If you rush into something without adequate and careful preparation, you would soon find yourself rushing out soon. I noticed during the “Pandemic”, there were many things I started but I can no longer continue. I did not consider or assume there was a huge price to pay in the long run. Whatever is good comes at a price, even being a Christian comes at a cost and this explains why many who started so well give up along the line.
Have I ever taken time to consider the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ? In truth, for many of us who were born into Christian homes, we never really had the opportunity of asking ourselves whether or not we wanted to be Christians; we didn’t have a choice. Growing up, we were basically forced to join and even lead at family prayers and when, out of lack of interest or tiredness, we dozed off during prayers, we were given a slap or harshly spoken to. With time, we simply keyed in.
Like Jesus said to John the Baptist, we became Christians just to fulfil all righteousness and that is why we remain half-hearted Christians. We received the sacraments of but refused to give our lives to Christ. We attend Church activities but we lack that personal relationship with God. We are neither hot nor cold and we find ourselves choosing what the world says over what God says.
Jesus is telling us today that it is not too late for us to consider the cost of following Him. As the saying goes, if you cannot stand the heat, please leave the kitchen. If you are not prepared to live out a truly holy Christian life, if God is not your sole priority in life, perhaps you shouldn’t be here. Jesus said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father or mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
If you do not realize that being a Christian is actually carrying a cross, you would assume you are just being punished unnecessarily or that God is not powerful enough to answer prayers. Many Christians have fallen by the wayside because they felt disappointed in God for not removing what they ought to have taken as a cross. They stopped being disciples because they could not renounce all that they had. They are like the man who started building a house and abandoned the project halfway.
Could this be your story? It is not too late still. Make a choice today, either to renounce the faith completely or begin entirely from scratch. If you choose to remain a Christian, then become a Saint. Know that you cannot eat your cake and still have it. Accept your cross and carry it gladly. St. Paul tells us in today’s first reading: “Do all things without grumbling or questioning that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Phil.2:14-15)
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to grow deeper in my faith. Amen.
Bible Study: Philippians 2:12-18, Psalm 27:1-14 and Luke 14:25-33).