“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.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions can not be my disciple.”
Well, I guess I am not much of a disciple. Sure, there are times I can’t stand my family but it’s nothing to with Jesus. If I sold all my possessions, it would be more for a clean start then a radical step of faith.
Hopefully,Jesus is referring to a different kind of discipleship.
I believe there are disciples and then there are heroic disciples. Some answer Jesus’ call with such a resounding yes that their yes to Christ deserves special recognition. When I read St. Paul description of his life to the Corinthians four, I think of that YES. His words go like this: “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are poorly clad and roughly treated, we wander about homeless and we toil, working with our own hands. When ridiculed, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we respond gently. We have become like the world’s rubbish, the scum of all, to this very moment.”
The lives of the early apostles all testify to this heroic yes.
Renouncing everything is absolutely necessary for future heroes of the faith. However, the Ten Commandments are always for every disciple. When Paul echoes Moses’ words, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet…” he was referring to that level of discipleship that belongs to me, you and every churchmen.
Every disciple of Jesus should be gracious to the poor. But some disciples are called to greatness and give up all their possessions becoming homeless for Jesus.
Becoming a hero for God is both a spiritual grace and also an act of the will.
If I read all the books on the theory of relativity, I would never compete with Albert Einstein.
The same is true concerning discipleship. Even if I fasted, prayed, attended conference after conference, if God didn’t call me to be a vocational disciple it would be nothing more than vain aspiration.
Paul asks each of us to “Work out your own salvation and one day you might hear God say, ‘Well done.'”