Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, “If you come to me, unwilling to sacrifice your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not follow me, carrying his own cross, cannot be my disciple.
Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost, to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you, have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? And if not, while the other is still a long way off, he sends messengers for peace talks. In the same way, none of you may become my disciple, if he doesn’t give up everything he has.

“Whoever does not follow me, carrying his own cross, cannot be my disciple.”
The theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans today is love. And Jesus in the gospel speaks of discipleship. To be a disciple of Jesus is to love Jesus, and it is a risk to do so. There are inconveniences because there is the cross. One who follows Jesus must be willing to embrace the demands of that cross. Yet there are many of us who strive to follow Jesus get weakened in the face of our life’s crosses. Worse, there are those of us who complain.
To follow Jesus is to suffer and sacrifice for Jesus. And these are not boloney sufferings and sacrifices. These are the ones that call for abandonment and surrender. These are the ones that give us a chance to prove our faithfulness as his disciples. These are the ones that invite us to have confidence and trust in God. So what is really there for us to whine about? Are these so enormous that we can’t handle? It may be good to be reminded of a line in Gary Valenciano’s song: God won’t give us what we can’t bear. Besides, are the sacrifices demanded of us more than his, who gave up everything for our sake?

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