Lectio Divina: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.“ — Luke 14:27
In today’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t leave room for interpretation. He communicates, in a rather blunt manner, that we cannot be His disciple if we do not pick up our cross and follow Him. The journey and mission of a disciple is not an easy one. Nor is it for the faint of heart. It is a challenge and will come with a cost. In this journey we will be transformed and stripped of any selfishness in order to more fully imitate Christ’s selflessness.
So what is getting in our way? It might be our attachment to our family, friends, or loved ones. Being close and in deep relationship with other people is not bad, it’s good! However, do these relationships get in the way of our relationship of the Lord? Am I more focused on pleasing people or on serving the Lord? Is a certain friend causing me to act or speak in a certain way that isn’t wholesome? Is my spouse challenging me to strive to pursue sainthood?
These are what you might call the “terms and conditions” of discipleship. We cannot just pick up our cross and carry it, we must truly embrace it. Love it. Kiss it. Thank God for it. The cross is our path to sanctification. It is the way we become fully alive by becoming more like Christ.
- Who have I put before the Lord?
- Am I carrying my cross?
- Do I sincerely want to be the Lord’s disciple?
- Am I more attached to my possessions than I am to Christ?
- What do I need to get rid of in my life in order to fully follow Jesus?