The only life that can truly satisfy

Sunday, September 4, 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Readings: WIS 9: 13-18B; PS 90: 3-6,12-14, 17; PHMN 9-10, 12-17; LK 14:25-33

On this 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the readings make very clear the demands that will be made of those wanting to be called disciples of Jesus Christ. We must be prepared to give our all to Him. But in the end, the life of Christian discipleship — a Catholic way of life — is the only life that can truly satisfy.

In the Gospel passage from Luke, Jesus said, “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.” Our Lord is speaking here not of emotions but rather of priorities. Our attachment and devotion to Jesus must come first in all aspects of our lives. Period.

Jesus continues. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” In other words, it’s all or nothing. Compromise is simply not possible. Christ wants us to give all of ourselves, all aspects of our individual lives, our family life, our parish over to Him and to the pursuit of His kingdom.

And just when we think our Lord might soften His message to make it a little more palatable, He goes further! “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Why is our Lord Jesus so demanding? Only because He knows us so well and loves us so much.

He knows that if we do not live by putting Him first before all else, we will easily be swallowed up by the earthly cares that weigh us down — our material things, our status, and even our egos. He knows these things cannot satisfy us. He knows this because He is our Creator, and He made us for more.

We are made to be His disciples, to seek after Him and His Kingdom. Embracing Jesus’ discipleship as a way of life allows us to count the cost, and then run after Him with all our ability.