The Cost of Discipleship
Discipleship calls us to continually refocus our lives and our thoughts on Jesus and on the Gospel. What does it mean for us to be disciples? What did it mean to you when you were seven years old and received Holy Communion for the first time? What did it mean when you were confirmed? When you left your parents’ home? When you got married? At the birth of your first child? When you lost something very valuable to you? What was that “cost of discipleship?”
Jesus’ words in this Sunday’s Gospel are very direct and strong: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple” and “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” These are hard imperatives. But if we love as Jesus teaches us to love, we know that love makes us willing to sacrifice anything and everything for the sake of another. We sacrifice because we love. Love changes everything and we can bear almost any kind of burden, any kind of cross. When we reflect on the Paschal Mystery in our lives, we come to realize that suffering and death to old ways of thinking and being, do lead to Easter glory, to Resurrection!
When we are passionately and intentionally focused on following Jesus, we know that we must be faithful to the process—to continuous calls to bear burdens and to renounce possessions or the things that possess us! How does following Jesus shape our daily life, values, decisions and goals?
As you prepare to enter into the liturgy this weekend, tell Jesus what it means for you to take up your cross and follow him. And be sure to LISTEN as Jesus responds to you.