In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus invite all of us to be his disciples. To be his real disciples, we must follow what he says; we must love him above all else, and we must carry our crosses. Many times we think that carrying the cross means we have to accept the sufferings of life for the love of Jesus. But today Jesus reveals that carrying the cross means much more. In carrying the cross, we must be in communion with Jesus, and we also must participate in the mission of Jesus; it means that we must take part in the work of redemption.
Jesus’ talk of hating our dear ones as a condition for following Jesus by sharing his mission confuses us a little bit. But, in the language Jesus spoke, ‘to hate’ also meant ‘to loveless’. So, we can understand now that we must love Jesus more than anyone else if we want to be his real disciples. But to love Jesus is not easy, because in our daily lives we prefer to love ourselves and the desires of our hearts more than Jesus. So, what should we do? We ask Jesus to soften our hardened hearts so that we can realize that only Jesus is to be loved because he alone is able to give us real happiness and salvation. We pray and ask Jesus to do this for us.
By Father Risco Batbual, SVD