Through today’s Gospel Jesus teaches us that if we want to follow him, we must be willing to sacrifice. It is true that sacrifice is not easy, but if we are willing to sacrifice and follow Jesus, we will get salvation and eternal life. Sacrifice means being brave to break away from inner ties, both with the past and with family.
All of us are freely invited to follow Jesus. Following Jesus is never compulsion, but must be a free decision. And to follow Jesus freely requires sacrifice. Jesus promises nothing but the joy of salvation. If we wanted to accompany our parents until they die and then followed Jesus, maybe it would be late. Even if we just wanted to say goodbye to our family, maybe we would lose what God has provided. The teaching of Jesus is strict: follow me freely, and unconditionally.
When we give conditions and requirements in our ministry, it is a sign that we are not truly free in following Jesus. If we want to serve others and do missionary work but we keep conditions, then that is a sign that we are not sincere in serving and doing these good works. Such decisions will make us exhausted, and not bring joy and blessings. Let us be ready to sacrifice in serving God and others and then worthy to enjoy the joy of salvation.
By Fr. Risco Batbual, SVD.