Gospel of Luke 14:25-33 Reflections:
In today’s gospel we have what at first sight appears to be a harsh saying. Jesus says that if you come to him without hating your father, mother, wife etc, then you are not worthy of him.
What we don’t realize today is that this sort of phrase was used in ancient writings to show emphasis and necessity. Here Jesus is telling us that the Kingdom has to come before everything else and now that we are approaching the end of the Church year, the readings emphasize the importance of the choice that all of us must make; are we for Jesus or are we against him.
So many of us spend our lives without ever making this decision because the decision is not important to us. We are prepared to accept a life that is neither for what is right and God but it also not against what is right and good. We live as though what is going on in the world around us is none of our business.
Society has personalized all moral decisions; if it is all right for me and I am hurting no one then what harm am I doing?
We opt out of standing up for what is right and what is wrong, so we say nothing. Jesus, on the other hand, had no problem telling the Pharisees and the people that what they were doing was wrong. There was no dilly dallying about him.
If we look at the phrase as a sign or urgency and a call to choice then the phrase about choosing makes perfect sense.
Perhaps it is the idea of being called to stand up and be counted that makes us rebel!