Luke 14:25-33 (NRSV)
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Verse 25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, Verse 26"Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Verse 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Verse 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Verse 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, Verse 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Verse 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? Verse 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. Verse 33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
We are confronted in this gospel reading by a rather direct question from Jesus. What difference does the cross make in your life? Have you noticed the prolific presence of crosses people either wear as jewelry, have on T shirts, or in the tattoo ink on their skin? Sometimes I wonder if those displaying this most central symbol of the Christian life have any idea of what it points to, what it means, or the reality of the Good News it holds for all who profess to follow Jesus and the way of the cross. How does the cross affect how you live your life each day? Do you keep it in mind when you plan the percentage of your financial resources that will be used for the benefit of others? Does the cross inform your attitude toward neighbors, colleagues, friends, or family? And if so, what difference does it make?
Dear Jesus, lift high your holy cross before our eyes. Help us to be your humble servants bringing your love into the lives of all I touch this day. Amen.