As Our Lord approached the city of Jerusalem, He was aware of the demands on Him and He was anxious too that His followers recognise them. Using rather harsh parables captured in this Sunday’s Gospel, (Lk 14:25-33) He asked His disciple to reflect on their commitment and the cost entailed: “None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions”. There is no escaping the point of the parables. Perhaps a better perspective is to see, not so much the ‘giving up’, for giving up is a loss, but to see rather Our Lord asking us to exchange earthly things for better things – things that are eternal.
Whatever the cost and challenges demand, it is also assuring to know that we do not journey on our own. The eternal love of God supports our human frailty as we continue to travel with Christ on our pilgrim way.
In Christ, God has gone before us in what He demands of us. At every Mass we are part of the paschal mystery whereby Christ’s dying destroyed our death and His rising restored our life. We enter into this dying/rising. In a way, the Christian journey of faith is patterned on the Eucharistic Celebration: death to old ways and resurrection to new ways of being. This dying/rising is essentially needed if we are to grow in maturity into the stature of Christ demanded of all Christians; i.e. a constant conversion of heart to a better way of being. Our ‘death to old ways’ naturally comes with a personal cost – at least in the earthly sense – but a reward, in the Spiritual sense.
Christ be our Light Fr Michael