Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
November 7th, 2012

Dick Hauser, S.J.
Academic Affairs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Wednesday of the 31st week in Ordinary Time
[487] Philippians 2:12-18
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Luke 14:25-33


Following Jesus as his disciple is not easy — then or now!

In the gospels Jesus never left his followers with the impression that being his disciple would be easy.  He realized that it would involve a radical break with their past — yes, even with their families: "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

And so Jesus prepares his followers to expect criticism,  even persecution,  for following him. And as he predicted, a growing division soon arose between Jews who followed Him and Jews who remained committed to their traditional synagogue  communities.  Eventually this division resulted in Jesus'  followers being expelled from their local synagogues. Following Jesus even divided some of his disciples from their families.

But Jesus did not hesitate to ask  his disciples  to embrace this cross of criticism, criticism by the dominant Jewish communities and even by their own families, "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."  Jesus expected his disciples to follow him despite lack of  approval by their Jewish culture and even by their own  families.

Our contemporary  culture is  becoming more and more secular.  It  ignores --  and even  openly disparages -- world views that include God, Jesus  and religious  values.  Tragically more and more Christians, influenced by secular culture, are embracing agnostic and secular world views and abandoning  commitment to God, Jesus and  church.   

Following Jesus as his disciple was not easy then and is not easy now! 

We Christians are challenged  to resist  the secular conditioning of our culture  and to become forthright in committing ourselves openly  to following Jesus. Not unlike the first followers of Jesus, we too risk criticism as we openly witness to the centrality of Jesus in our lives to our  families, friends and communities. 

But the Lord's presence in our lives makes it all worthwhile:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?"

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