None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.
This is a very difficult set of readings. The Gospel itself starts with a saying which many find hard to understand: must we really “hate” our family to be the Lord’s disciples? The point is that it is relative: what are we prepared to give up for the Gospel? Are we going to try and make our own cross, or accept whatever we are given? Jesus is probably trying to discourage the crowd of sensation seekers and hangers-on who are crowing round him. He wants real disciples, who are aware of the possible cost: not like the incompetent builder, or the useless king. To be a disciple, one must be prepared to follow Jesus anywhere, whatever it might cost in possessions, family or friends. We may never understand why, but then, “who can know the intentions of God?”
You turn men back into dust and say “Go back, sons of men.” To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, no more than a watch in the night. You sweep men away like a dream, like grass which springs up in the morning. In the morning it springs up and flowers: by evening it withers and fades. Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart. Lord, relent! Is your anger for ever? Show pity to your servants. In the morning, fill us with your love; we shall exult and rejoice all our days. Let the favour of the Lord be upon us: give success to the work of our hands.
First Reading: Wis 9:13-18
Second Reading: Phil 9-10,12-1
Gospel Reading: Luke 14:25-33