September 4, 2022
Luke 14: 25-33
In the time Jesus walked the earth, he was a teacher with his disciples. In our time, Jesus needs and calls disciples to do his work in the world today. The gospel this week, Luke 14: 25-33 reflects on the call to discipleship as presented to a large group who were following him.
Right before this section, Jesus told the story of a man who planned a dinner party and invited many guests. Those invited gave excuses because they could not come: one had to check on bought property, another had bought cattle, another recently married could not leave his wife. The master was irritated and decided he would fill his house with those who would enjoy the banquet.
Then comes the reflection where Jesus states criteria for being his disciple. One must give first preference to his/her call to be a disciple of Jesus, leaving his/her parents, children even one’s own life in second place. The disciple of Jesus must be willing to be put to death, take up one’s cross to be a disciple. The disciple must know how to plan, to calculate what is needed to complete the task, to have all that is needed so as not to run out of material in the middle of the job and thus look foolish.
If this is not clear enough, in the section which follows Jesus tells us that being a disciple is to be a courageous caretaker who suffers the loss of one sheep, leaves the 99 others to find the lost one, puts it on his/her shoulders and returns to the rest of the flock who together with the shepherd rejoices that what was lost was found.
Both men and women were disciples of Jesus. Women were entrusted to communicate important messages to the apostles who were too frightened to leave the room: “He is not here; he is risen as he said.” “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Veronica courageously wiped the blood and sweat from Jesus’ face as he carried the cross to Calvary. Mary, his mother and faithful women stood at the foot of the cross, witnessing to the suffering. Mary Magdalen was cured by Jesus; she never left him even after his death. Other women economically assisted and financially supported Jesus’ ministry by selling cloth. These women were all disciples of Jesus. The fact that they were with him marked them as disciples. They learned to live as Jesus lived, to care for the sick, to give food to the hungry, to be with the poor, to be family together.
Luke 14: 25-33
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Meet Sister Betsy Flynn, SNDdeN