Today’s Gospel from Luke (14:25-33) is a marvelous teaching on discipleship, with strong overtones on stewardship.
Fundamentally, this passage is a continuation of the earlier part of Chapter 14 which is all about the invitation to the Kingdom. We see initially the righteous are invited. Though at first, they are willing, they later come up with excuses why they are not yet “able to come”; such as “I am recently married”, or “I just bought some cows” or “I have purchased a field”. (18-20)
With reference to such excuses, Jesus cautions us in the Gospel today that our first priority and choice needs always be the Kingdom. Neither relationships nor possessions should be a stumbling block to entering the Kingdom. Our hearts are to be free for Jesus and His Kingdom. Love is the path to such freedom. When we love others or our possessions more than the eternal Kingdom, we begin to fall away from the Way, (Jesus) which is the only path to the Father.
When the righteous in the first part of the Gospel refuse the invitation, the Father sends for the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame from the alleys and streets of the town to be brought in. (21) Even when this is done, the Master is told there is still room, so the invitation is extended to those beyond the city walls. Such is the vastness of God’s love and depths of His desire that all be brought into the Kingdom.
May the Gospel and Eucharist this weekend awaken our hearts to this deep desire of God to bring us into His Kingdom. May the Gospel and Eucharist also awaken us to the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit who will lead us to choose wisely in our relationships of love, and the generous distribution of our wealth that we may always remain free for God, and free from all that would keep us from accepting His invitation to the Kingdom.
For Luke, the cross is at the heart of such wisdom; at the heart of discipleship. For Jesus, love was always at the heart which bore the cross. We can expect no less in our journey of faith. May we grow in love, that we may bear the cross of discipleship in our earthly journey of many “yes’s” to God until such time as He brings us into the fullness of His Kingdom. Jesus gave his all for us. May we give our all for Him.
Keep the faith, my friends!