Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
For whom would you give up everything? In the gospel today, our Lord tells us “everyone who does not give up all of his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:33) The requirement at the beginning of today’s Gospel that one hate parents, family, even one’s own life, all strikes us as wrong. So what does Jesus mean? Christ is the one who gave the new commandment “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13:34) He is the one who summarized the whole Law into the commands to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mt 22:37-40)
It seems that Christ is asking us to be ready to rid ourselves of anything which would keep us from following Him. If our relationship with family members or our own self-interest blind us to the love which Jesus wants us to live, then we will end up not even truly doing what is best for our family or ourselves.
On the other hand, if we set before all else the one who loves us infinitely, then we shall be able to love more. Then, like Paul, we will be able to rejoice when we are “poured out as a libation” for the sake of others. Giving all to Christ, we won’t cling to possessions, but will use them wisely (and hence joyfully) for His glory and the good of our brothers and sisters.