Committed To Follow Christ
13th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
Luke 14: 25-30
In our journey through life, when we commit ourselves to God’s ways, we will find fulfillment when we walk and talk with Him daily. But sometimes we are consumed with the things we have rather than to be thankful to God. In the Book of Deuteronomy, God gave us choices. He set before man life and prosperity or death and destruction. “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” We think we have been enslaved by life itself. God said it very clearly: Choose you this day. He does not force us.
In our lives, we tend to choose our own ways many times. It is unfortunate that many Christians think that by merely choosing Christ, everything will be ok. But it takes commitment to follow Him in order that we may live a life of peace. When Jesus faced the multitude, out of the great mass of people, most were just there because of curiosity. They were fed, they were being healed, and so they wanted more. This was their whole purpose in following Christ. They had wrong motivations. They did not go there to receive the very life and redemption that Christ was giving them. They were there to see what would benefit them. Christ wants us to know that there is more than this. That there is a cost in following Him. That it takes commitment on our part. It even goes on to say, that if we do not hate our mothers and fathers, wife and children, brothers and sisters and even our own lives, we are not fit to be His disciples. But what does “hate” here mean? “Hate” from the Greek word means that we love one above another. It’s literally saying to us that if we love a person more than we love God, then we cannot call ourselves His disciples. No. 1 is that we should put Him first in our lives. He should be top priority. Christ is also talking about loyalty and a commitment that is totally dependable. Jesus was commited to God and to the task He was assigned to do. That even in the midst of persecution, He never lost His commitment.
We see this in Abraham as well when he was instructed by God to leave His home and go to another country. Because Abraham was obedient, he was blessed. We also see this in the lives of martyrs. They were willing to give up and sacrifice their lives. In our own lives today, there are so many things that get in the way of our relationship with God. We should be committed to God’s ways. When we make promises, we must fulfill them. We have to be willing to take up the cross and not allow things to pull us away from Him. 2 Corinthians 12:19 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” When we go through a trial and overcome it, we will see glory. We should hold fast even when we are confronted with difficult situations. The multitude’s purpose in coming to Jesus was to escape the cruelty of Rome. They think that Christ would be able to give them what they want, even without realizing that it takes commitment to follow Him. God gives to us gifts that are perfect. We have not really appreciated these gifts. Do we understand that we should be thankful and dependable? We have to be willing to let things go if these things are more important to us than God.
A disciple is one who follows his master. His task is to follow God. This is our priority. Christ did not back out from the cross. And He had compassion even to those who were persecuting Him. “My sheep know my voice.” We need to make sure that in our lives, we are the sheep that know His voice. When we are committed to a task, we must see to it that it is carried out. We may not be perfect. But we should constantly seek commitment to follow Christ.