Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Some might hear today’s gospel and immediately think, that’s asking a lot! We are told in Luke’s Gospel that we need to carry our own cross and are called to place Jesus before all of our family members, ourselves, and the earthly things we hold onto as important. In today’s materialistic society, this may be much harder than in Jesus’s time 2000 years ago, when worldly possessions amounted to a modest home or tent, some animals, and possibly a fishing boat.
The setting opens with great crowds following Jesus. The terrain of this region is desert-like, with many hills and valleys – it wasn’t an easy trek. We are told that he turned around and, facing them, explained what it truly takes to be his disciple. I wonder if he thought before we go any further, I need to be clear that it is more than walking along with me to be a true follower. The abrupt stop of a forward-moving crowd had to jolt many from their own conversations and thoughts. His message was as clear as it is for us.
How many continued on? How many turned back and headed home? Are we willing to follow in Jesus’s footsteps each day? This means we keep Christ above all else in every activity of each day. Our faith as a disciple guides us in all our relationships, careers and how we share our time, talents, and treasures with the fringe of society. It’s about being the hands and feet of Jesus as we share our love of Christ through our actions. This is being a Eucharistic people!
Lord, I invite your spirit into my heart and soul to help me realize my choices today. Give me the courage and wisdom always to choose You above all things as I become a better disciple. Amen.