Message of the Week

Reflections from the September 4 Gospel

Luke 14:25-33
It’s a modern misconception to think of Jesus as the ultimate nice guy who only said things that everybody loved to hear. Of course Jesus is the perfect model of charity and compassion, but he also gave some very challenging teachings. Today’s Gospel is a case in point. Not many people are thrilled by Christ’s lesson today that insists God must be first in our lives. Few are those who love to hear this instruction to renounce our beloved things as well as our beloved relationships. But Jesus does not mince words. We are to “hate” our “father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters,” and even our own life. It’s important to understand that the use of the word “hate” here does not mean to despise anyone or treat them unkindly. It means rather to prefer something—or Someone—else, namely God, to these important relationships. In putting God first, inevitably something else must take second place. It means putting all our trust in God, whatever the cost may be.

Questions of the Week

Luke 14:25-33:
Which of the three conditions of
discipleship would you find easiest to fulfill?
Wisdom 9:13-18b:
Who is the wisest person you know or
have encountered?
Philemon 9-10, 12-17:
How do you think Philemon reacted to Paul’s request?