The start of this gospel reading should remind us that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Luke tells us that many people were willing to follow him. His journey from Galilee to Jerusalem began in chapter 9. It is a journey to face the cross and is filled with teaching for those who are willing to take up their crosses as disciples of Jesus.
Once again Jesus uses the stark language of the prophets. To hate one’s closest relatives should not be interpreted literally, but in the sense of preferring nothing and nobody to following Jesus.
The second section of the gospel concerns prudence. Jesus tells two short parables, about the man building the tower, and another about a king going to war. Discipleship involves both the heart and the mind. We need to count the cost of discipleship. There is an apparent contradiction here for the passage ends with another radical statement of Jesus: ‘None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.’ Each person must calculate the cost and give what God inspires through heart and mind. God does not demand what is impossible for a person to give. Detachment is the key.
The first reading praises the gift of Wisdom, which comes from God. Jesus is this true Wisdom, who guides, inspires and challenges us on the road to the fulness of life.
Do I manage to put God above all else in my life?
Do I use my intelligence to make decisions about discipleship?
Let us pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide our detachment to generosity.
Let us pray for courage in following Jesus to Jerusalem, to the cross and to new life.