Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 14,25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them,
“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him
and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Highest Good, Deepest Loyalty, Ultimate end
1) Highest Good. These sayings of Jesus are perhaps the hardest and most radical demands He proposes to those who would follow Him and be His disciples. It is easy to intellectually agree that we shouldn’t love anything more than God. Its also easy to say or think I don’t love anything more than God but today Jesus uses hyperbole to shock us out of the mistaken notion that many hold, namely that the ultimate value or highest good is the love of spouse and family. While love of spouse and family are obviously good things, there is something better and more important, in fact most important. Jesus challenges us by saying the opposite, that unless we hate our family we cannot follow Him. This stunning statement serves to not only sharpen the contrast between those who choose to follow him and those who don’t but also questions our deepest held beliefs and perceived ultimate values. Jesus then uses two parables to warn us that we should first check to see if we really are prepared and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to follow him.
2) Deepest loyalty. The question is one of true loyalty-Do we really love Jesus as much as we say or think? Before answering consider what you would be willing to give up to follow Him? Your car? Your house, all your money. Your spouse? What price would you pay? What are you willing to suffer? Tough questions. Another way of saying this is asking is there something or someone I am attached to more than God? Jesus is not asking us to love our family or friends less but only requiring that if we want to follow Him, we have to love Him more. Jesus demands that we can never prefer anyone or anything to Him-that He must be loved first and above all. His commandment is clear- To Love God with all our heart all our mind all our soul and all our strength.
3) Ultimate end. Why? It is about putting first things first. Not only making God a priority but an exclusive primacy. Our founding father Rocco used to say nobody but nobody loves us like God. How much more does God love us? Infinitely more. It is a warning against the danger of making anyone or anything our all. And it’s really for our own good. God alone is our ultimate end. If we love anyone or anything- any possession or any person above God, that becomes our god- and we are no longer free and by definition are guilty of idolatry-a dangerous attachment which enslaves. More than the gifts of God We must love the God of the gifts, More than the humans of God, we must love the God of humans. Lord give us the courage to put you first in our life, trusting if we seek first the kingdom of God we will be given everything else.
May God bless you in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen
Always remember heaven is our goal