8 September 2019. 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Cycle C.
The Christian does not believe in a doctrine or some ideas. He believes in a Person, in Jesus, the Son of God. And to be his disciple is something very demanding, as he tells us today in the Gospel. To be his disciple is to give up many things, even good things, to make his following the first thing in our lives. He does not want halftones, or a ‘light’ following, but demanding and radical. You have to take up the cross and follow him. On many occasions, both in family and social life, we are at the crossroads of contradictory options: opt for the values of Jesus or those that this world presents to us. Jesus asks us to put him ahead of family, society, or even our own life.
We find people who just try to seek to build a Christianity to suit themselves. They make a kind of selection of the gospel and are left with what least commits them. They mark out a few “obligations”, not very onerous, and with that they are satisfied. But the style of life that Jesus asks of us is demanding and radical, and we have to accept it as a whole. It is not worth just taking on some things. The following of Jesus must encompass our entire lives. We must ask ourselves if, as pointed out by the Gospel, we have done well in our calculations, if we have enough to build “our tower”; if our foundations are sufficient to support the weight of the cross of each day.
Jesus had to renounce even his own life, and for this he was glorified by the Father. If the following that we do is an easy and comfortable road and not demanding and radical, we have done our calculations wrong. We do not follow Jesus, we follow ourselves.
Juan Ramón Gómez Pascual, cmf