Gospel Lk 14:25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, "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. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.' Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
“In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."
Do you remember a gift you received as a child? I personally don’t have a great memory of all my Christmases as a child, but I do remember asking for and receiving a Tubsy doll. She came with her own tub and I could pretend to have my own child and give her a bath. What a wonderful Christmas that was for me! And unbeknownst to me, I was learning how important it is to nurture life. I think it is important to give gifts during Christmas, especially to children, so they can learn about the greatest gift God gives to us. It is everlasting life through Jesus Christ.
It is the season the retail world loves. Society generally has shopping foremost in their minds. We gather with friends and family in anticipation of celebrating our Savior’s birth, but is the food we bring to gatherings or are the yard decorations we share with our neighbors first in our hearts? We can easily think of all the material possessions we acquire to celebrate Christmas as the most important thing we have in a day.
It seems in today’s Gospel the examples Jesus gave the crowd center on not being prepared. The builder cannot finish building a tower if he doesn’t have a budget. The king will not be prepared to fight a war if he doesn’t have a sufficient army. Jesus is telling us we are not prepared to receive him living our lives dragging our crosses alone. If we carry them without Jesus, we will never be ready when he comes again.
As Christians, we are called to give God glory by building the Kingdom of God and praying for His peace to reign on earth. Let us renounce the possessions that are filling us and replace this interior space with the love of Jesus and be his disciples.