Raise your hand if you want to go to Heaven? Good everyone’s hand is raised.
Raise your hand if you want to become a Disciple of Jesus? I should see everyone’s hand- Because as we will see becoming a disciple is what it takes to enter Heaven.
Raise your hand if you think you are a Disciple of Jesus? 5%- bulletin, Becoming Disciples is part of our Vision statement as a parish. - demanding cost of discipleship.
Gospel- Confusing and hard statement- unless we hate our family member’s we cannot be Jesus’ disciple? How can God who is love, who called us to love our enemies, and honor our father and mother- call us to hate the very same people we are called to love and honor?
What does Jesus mean? Perhaps Matthew’s version of this passage will clarify. “Whoever loves father or mother, or son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me”
So how might you sometimes love your family more than God? Say you go on vacation or to your sons or daughter’s sporting event or something- if you don’t try to find a Mass where you are then you are loving your family more than God.
In reality though, if we put God first and strive to love Him more than our family and friends, if we make and spend time in prayer every day, then we will actually love our family more, not less, because we will learn and grow to love them not with our own ability, but with God’s grace and strength.
“Whoever does not carry his cross and come follow me cannot be my disciple”- we have to pick up our crosses, our burdens, with and because of Jesus. Some people tend to complain and often blame God for the suffering and difficulties, but if we willingly accept that God allowed us to have and carry them. Everything God gives or allows us to have is for a greater good- even our suffering. By willingly carrying our burdens and uniting them to the Cross, then we participate in the salvation of others- including our family members.
“Anyone who does not renounce his possessions cannot be my disciple”- what this means is that we must become detached of the pleasures of the world- the money, the materials, the stuff of this earth cannot have an attachment in our hearts if we want to enter Heaven. We must willing renounce the money and stuff and choose to be attached to God more than them. In the next couple of weeks, you will have the opportunity to intentionally do just that and become a better steward. As you will see, becoming better stewards, by detaching ourselves from the money and pleasures of this earth, then and only then can we become His disciple and become ready for Heaven.
Finally, as our Gospel says, “which of you does not sit down and calculate the cost to see if you have enough for completion”. I ask you to do that, to reflect on what it will cost you to become Jesus disciple, or become a better disciple. Look over characteristics of a Disciple in bulletin. Reflect on how you need to love God above all else, better carry your crosses, and detach yourself more from the pleasures of this life- what do you need to do in those areas? Becoming a disciple is going to cost us, it is going to demand a lot of intentional hard work, but it is so worth it. Becoming an intentional disciple is becoming more ready for Heaven- and Heaven is worth whatever it is going to cost us. So, let us reflect on our lives, let us count the cost and do what we need to become a disciple, or a better disciple, so that we can be ready for the glory of Heaven.BACK TO LIST