This weeks scriptures remind us that we live in a time where many find it difficult to make decisions. Often I hear “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual”, or it’s said ” I look for spiritual connection in many different spiritual paths”. I cannot tell you how often I hear this. This relative, uncommitted sense of being spiritual is an easy path to take because it doesn’t require any commitment. I even here among Catholics, “well I’m a floater. I go to different parishes, or churches depending on how I feel.” Again a lack of commitment, the inability to make a clear decision. It seems that we live in a time where many find it difficult, or are unwilling to make the step forward to commit and make a decision.
Today we hear Jesus make a rather strange demand, namely the requirement for Discipleship is to make a decision for Him, above all other kindred or familiar relationships. We can’t image anyone saying to love them more than that which is most loved, most cared for in our lives. No other religious leader asks to be loved more than anything else. At first glace it may seem that Jesus is being harsh when he tells His disciples:
“If anyone 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.”
Jesus says we must be detached as it where from anyone and anything that keeps us from being sent to the do the work of the Lord, and proclaiming His kingdoms with our lives. Jesus compels a choice for Him like no other leader. In reality Jesus is much more than just a religious leader, he is more than a guru or teacher. In choosing Jesus we recognize that He is who He says He is. Jesus is far greater than any other leader, Muhammed, Or Buddha or Moses, Jesus is the One who is the author of life itself, He is the true and fullest revelation of the Father. He is Co-Equal in Essence to the Father. He and the Father are One. He is God! So we hear our God telling us today that living for God it’s not that we are to have disdain nor hatred toward our loved ones, what we learn is that first Jesus must be front and center of our lives. We also need to understand that the kinship, familiar relationships will no longer have the same significance in heaven. Let’s look at Colossians 3:11
“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian,* slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,”
Living for God will have as its primary focus loving for God and the old order of relationships are transformed to living in holiness and the power of Jesus in and over our being. Thus the taking up of our cross, our burdens, our challenges our struggles. Whatever you are going through, it is yours to carry. It is our call to embrace it and carry it as Jesus did. For we will soon find, that in carrying our cross as disciples of Jesus, it is actually Jesus who is carrying it for us, giving us the strength to face the most daunting of tasks each and every day. For when we carry or cross we are bound with Him who carried His cross for us.
Let’s make a decision knowing that it will cost, although the rewards are far greater than the cost we must know that it will require something from us. In willingness to step out into our future, to step into our blessings.