Scripture: 1st Reading: Rom13,8-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps112,1-2,4-5,9; Gosp. Accl.: 1Pet4,14; Gospel: Lk14,25-33
We love our parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, wives, children. We seek for their good all the time and wish the world for them. We are protective of the people we love. We guide, guard and cherish them. Unfortunately, there are times when our commitment to these people clashes with our commitment and fidelity to the gospel and the demands of our Lord on our lives.
This often happens if our commitment to the Gospel is not on the same level with theirs. It can also happen that they gave a different understanding of what discipleship is all about. That means the love we have always shared has never had any foundation in Christ and his His gospel. Our love has been purely human with little or no reference to God. When we realize this, then the word in today's gospel should become a lamp for our feet.
Our Lord today tells us categorically that father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, even one's own life, must never be obstacles to discipleship and our desire to follow Him. The test of our commitment to discipleship is the cross. To be true disciples is to carry our own proper crosses and follow the Master. To be true disciples is to examine, evaluate and agree to the cost of discipleship. To be a true disciple is to know the implications of that for our lives and what it requires of us so that we know if it is something we are able to bear.
In the words of our Lord today, we cannot truly claim to be His disciples without some form of renunciation. In fact, our Lord told us that we must renounce all that we have. This is because He knew quite well how dominating and distracting any possession can be. He knew quite well how possessive any form of love can be if it does not have a foundation in Him.
The love that is proposed to us in the first reading today is therefore this type that is founded on God's infinite love. The word tells us that we should owe no one anything except to love one another because whoever loves his neighbour has fulfilled the whole law. The whole commandment is summed up in "you shall love your neighbour as yourself." This is because the love that seeks the good of the person cannot do any wrong to the same person.
This type of love is the fulfilment of the entire law. This type of love can never distract or lead us away from our commitment to discipleship. Rather, this type of love enriches and firmly holds it up. This is the type of love that our Lord calls us to today. This is the type of love that is founded on gospel values.
Let us pray: O Lord our God, you revealed yourself to us as love and have called us to love you and our neighbours in reciprocation of the love with which you loved us. Open our eyes and hearts to the wonders of your love. Give us your grace to live our lives in love, to be expressions of your true love in the world, to offer an alternative to the misinterpretations and misrepresentations of love in our world. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.