Homily of October 14, 2018,
The Cost of Discipleship : please complete the race
Following Jesus is a challenging and an expensive venture. It is not only expensive monetary wise. It takes one whole being. Jesus’ preaching and teaching left deep impression on people and many were drawn to follow him for various reasons. Some came for healing, others needed peace, some others wanted to have position in the society and yet others just wanted an adventure. True discipleship had its consequences. In effect discipleship does have its price.
Jesus will always show the consequences or the naked truth of following him and being his disciple. In the Gospel today Jesus does not mince words to portray the cost of this discipleship: We are presented with a rich, energetic and enthusiastic young man coming to fall at the feet of the poor prophet, Jesus. He was not only a wealthy man, he was a devout follower of the law. By the kneeling gesture, the young man portrays a sign of submission and surrender. Jesus naturally love him. God loves each and everyone of us personally. Loving the man, did not entail not telling him the truth. He needed to make a radical turn. It hurt the man to hear he was to give up what he had. His following of Jesus required a total sacrifice of everything. It was total and radical. It was clear to the young aristocrat that he could not serve God and money (Luke 16:13). Who owned the young man’s heart? It is clear that despite his efforts to keep God’s commandments since childhood, his health had a stronger grip on him. He ran towards Jesus but could not complete the race because the cost leaving his wealth to follow Jesus seemed just too high for him to bear
Are you running towards Jesus now? Do you really want to follow him? Are you making conscious efforts to follow all the laws to the letter? Then you are on the right track already. That is good news. Let me sound a warning bell: the cost of discipleship is too high. It entails sacrificing some moments of pleasure to be involved deeply in things concerning God. It may require you to fast, to pray longer hours, to give up some of your wealth to the poor. It is a race already begun. We follow God because we have seen that his Wisdom is better than riches. We must complete this race no matter how challenging it seems to be.
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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