“If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
There seems to be a contradiction between our first reading today and the Gospel passage. While St. Paul is telling us to “owe no one anything except love,” Jesus is saying “if anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Of course, St. Paul is right by summarizing the commandments as love for neighbour as oneself. Even Jesus himself said the same thing when he was asked which was the greatest of all the commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind…. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Jesus says to us today that being a Christian comes at a huge cost; “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple…” St. Paul would say: “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17).
Being a Christian is following in the footsteps of Christ, walking in the light, living a righteous life. Just as Jesus was hated by so many, anyone who wants to follow Christ’s footsteps should prepare to have a lot of enemies and be hated by so many people.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me live entirely for you. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 13:8-10, Ps.112:1-2,4-5,9 & Luke 14:25-33).