Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
(Lk 14: 25-33)
TO BECOME JESUS’ DISCIPLE
Fr. Joseph Dinh, O.P (September 08, 2013)
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Since our baptism, we have become members of the Church and also children of the Lord. However, baptism alone is not enough for us to become Jesus’ disciples. Today, in the Gospel of Saint Luke, Jesus gives us some more requirements. According to Jesus, those who want to follow Him have to give up everything and to be able to make a that decision wisely.
Firstly, Jesus asks us to give up everything then follow Him.
What does Jesus ask us to give up? He demands us to leave our Parents, wives, husbands, children then come to Him. As we know, Parents and family are very important in our lives. We cannot grow up without our parents’ nurturing us and providing us with education. Our spouse is half of our lives and children are our blood and flesh. Nevertheless, Jesus wants us to leave them in order to serve God better. More emphatically, Jesus also requires us to give up ourselves, to carry the cross, in order to follow His footsteps.
Teaching us in these words, Jesus, did not want us to treat our relatives rudely, but we have to choose Him radically. There is nothing in the world able to compared with Jesus. So choosing Jesus is the first choice and forever. It is no doubt that the hardest action when choosing Jesus is to give up ourselves. However, giving up ourselves is knowing how to control our need; to reject things which are not the Lord’s will; even to refuse a thing if it is not suitable for a disciple of the Lord.
Secondly, to become Jesus’ disciple, we must be able to make a decision wisely.
Everyone has freedom to choose thing in their lives. We use our freedom to make decision and God does not interrupt us. However, we have to accept the result of our choices. Therefore, following Jesus’ footsteps is a very important decision which demands us to use our wisdom. Giving a parable about a man going to build a tower or a king who is going into an encounter with another King, Jesus does not talk about construction or military campaign; rather Jesus wants to remind us of having to think carefully before making an action.
During our lives, how many towers will we build? And how many times will we encounter with temptations? What will we do if we do not give things careful consideration? We ask ourselves what will happen if we choose this one or that one? What is the Lord’s teaching to be obeyed in this matter? Likewise, we are the Lord’s children who follow Jesus’ footsteps, ask us to use our wisdom to choose the right way, in spite of unfavourable rusults that may come about.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
People who want to become Jesus’ disciples are not only those who consecrate themselves to God but all of us. Following Jesus is not a temporary action but includes our whole behaviour. Moreover, becoming Jesus’ disciple is not simply to praise or admire him. But a true disciple of Christ should imitate his way of life and his love. In other words, we should become servants of others, even to the point of sacrificing ourselves, as Jesus did sacrifice his life on the cross for our sins and for the salvation of the world. Amen.
Fr. Joseph Dinh, O.P.