Sunday, September 5, 2010

We Belong to God

"...everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:33
In today's gospel, Jesus tells us what we must do if we wish to be his disciples. There are some difficult sayings here.
Take up our crosses, he tells us. Renounce our possessions. Hate our family.
Most of the commentaries I read on this gospel said that "hate" really meant more like "prefer." All I know for sure is that it got my attention. And Jesus really wanted to get our attention here, wouldn't you say?
Perhaps Jesus does not mean for us to hate our family. But instead, perhaps we just need to make Him the center of our lives.
Perhaps Jesus is asking us here to make a firm decision to be His disciple. To follow Him all the way, not in any kind of lukewarm fashion, but with total commitment, regardless of the price.
We will have to carry a cross. We will have to renounce our possessions. We will have to put God first in our lives and in our hearts. Even first before our families. We will need to surrender all to God.
Seems like every time I am ready to give all to the Lord, I end up taking some of it back again. This stuff isn't easy.
But then we cannot do it by ourselves. And we cannot expect to be perfect at this discipleship business. We can only pray and put ourselves out there the best we can. And hope Jesus holds on to us. Which of course, He will.
St. Francis de Sales said it well -
"Lord, I am yours and I must belong to no one but You."
Shall we make that our prayer as well?


Karinann said...

Despite the poor translation in the lectionary, I agree- Jesus certainly wanted to get our attention. This passage goes a long way in showing just how much we mean to Him as disciples. Thanks for wonderful insights on this.
God bless!

Colleen said...

Karinann, thank you. We do mean a lot don't we? God bless!

Jean Wise said...

Love the Francis de Sales prayer. that will be my prayer this week. Thanks for providing insight into an difficult passage too.

Colleen said...

Jean, thank you. I have always found it difficulty myself. Francis de Sales' quote helps!

Carol@simple_catholic said...

I love that prayer by Saint Francis de Sales!

Thanks for sharing your insights with us.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

The St. Francis de Sales quote is right on - I love it. The word "hate" is a Hebrew idiom used when two are compared. One is loved better, as Rachel was loved more than Leah, Jacob more than Esau, etc. So Christ is saying that we must put even our lives below our commitment to Him. In most modern language "hate" has a wrathful connotation different from the old Hebrew.

I wish the priests would explain these things better when they preach on them so that we can understand the Bible better. Even when I was small the passage made me uncomfortable, but after awhile in my child's mind I knew what Jesus meant when He said it.

Colleen said...

Carol - thank you! I love that prayer too!

evanscove said...

Jesus' words are a example of overstatement. The Gospels--the whole New Testament, for that matter--emphasizes honoring one's parents, so obvioulsy Jesus did not intend for His followers to literally despise their parents or families. Rather, it's taken for granted that Jesus meant it in the sense of regarding our earthly relationships, possessions, etc., as being of lesser value than our relationship with God. But you're right, it certainly is an attention-getter!

Colleen said...

Barb, I so love that quote form St Francis too! And thanks for that info on hate - i kinda figured that - but the translation sure stirs things up doesnt it?

Evan, thanks for your input. Isn't this great? We can discuss and share and learn from each other!