Gospel: (Luke 14:25-33)
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “…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.’…In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.
In this gospel, Jesus lays out the demands of following him, the great cost of discipleship. Why is the cost of discipleship so high that we must even give up our lives? Because we follow Jesus, who gave his life. We must carry our cross, and this means the daily discipline of self-sacrifice for the sake of others. We must also renounce all our possessions, which means letting go of any thing or conduct that causes us to question discipleship or swerve us from the path of following Jesus. In human situations we calculate the cost of finishing a difficult or expensive task. So also, Jesus helps us calculate the cost of discipleship—it demands everything we are and everything we have. Jesus intends no surprises for those who choose discipleship; here’s the fine print: we have to die to self if we wish to follow Jesus. (Living Liturgy, p.204)
“The story of St. Vincent’s life is the story of continual conversion to discipleship, a continual dying to self. Vincent life is a story of continual turning towards Someone. That Someone is the person of Jesus Christ as He is made known in the Gospel. Vincent kept turning towards Jesus and towards the poor. That must also become the story of our life. St. Vincent often gave his followers a guiding principle in the practice of frequently stopping during the day in order to ask the simple question: “What would Jesus Christ do or say if He were in the circumstances in which I find myself now?”
(McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.698)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
What would happen in our Conference if we would always asked the question “What would Jesus Christ do or say…? “
Jesus, you are the faithful disciple of God,
-may we help to carry the burdens of others.
Jesus, you carried your cross with faith and trust,
-may we patiently endure times of suffering.
Jesus,give us the grace to always ask the question,
-“What would Jesus do or say if He were here?”