The good news for the day November 2, 2016

Wednesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time (487)

A large public was traveling with Jesus, when he turned to address them, “If anybody comes to me without distancing himself or herself from father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even their own life, that person cannot be a follower of mine. Everybody who does not carry their own cross and come after me cannot be my follower. Which of you who wants to construct a significantly big building does not first sit down and figure out the cost to see if there is enough financial support for its completion?  Otherwise, after laying the foundation—finding himself unable to finish the work—onlookers would laugh at him and say, ‘This guy began to build but did not have what he needed to finish.’  Or what country leader, deciding on a war, would not first sit down first and decide whether with 10,000 troops he can successfully confront another ruler advancing upon him with 20,000 troops?  If he can’t—while the enemy is still far enough away, he will send a delegation to seek peace terms.  In the same way, every one of you who does not set distance from all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14)

Jesus seems to be talking here about loving God with your brain—to think, and weigh values, differences, choices. Like “fear of God,” “love” and “justice,” the word Jesus was using here for “hate” needs to be understood in His culture, not in ours. In other words, “hate” for Jesus is not what we mean by it. Cf. Deut. 21, 15-17 where hate clearly means “loves less.”

“Hate” for Jesus eludes our language. You have to think it through. Jesus asks you to sift through your values—to make choices, to find Life that is more than living, to plan on what is “worth it,” to assume in your adulthood you may disagree, go a way different from your family—from what you planned. You separate your soul from habit, culture and values that your family taught you. You plan on doing the right thing. You think, pray and choose your self away from the public “way” and into the Good News, the following of Jesus. Love your family—distance them if need be

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