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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.

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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Wednesday of the 31st Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Rom 13: 8-10

Ps 111: 1-2, 4-5, 9

Lk 14: 25-33


The Cost of Christian Discipleship


India has many god men and women who have millions of followers. Some of them are behind the bars, being accused of criminal activities. The fame of a god man or woman depends on the number of followers. Hence there is a tendency among these god man and women to increase the number of their followers using various tricks. The gullible people throng to them either being attracted by the so called miracles or to fulfil their desires like healing, getting employment, passing examination etc. In the Catholic Church also there are some charismatic preachers who claim to have the power for healing and attract hundreds of people to their charismatic centres. But Jesus never tried to attract people, but people were attracted by his magnetic personality.


At the time of Jesus people were attracted by the personality of Jesus, especially his compassion for the sick and the needy. Sometimes large crowds were following him and some of them expressed their desire to become his disciples. Jesus made very clear to them that becoming a disciple is not an easy task and he put harsh conditions. Jesus did not want a crowd of disciples who have not understood his mission. Today’s Gospel passage highlights the tough conditions for becoming his disciples. Today the followers of various religions are competing with each other to increase their numbers by hook or crook. Often material benefits are offered to embrace a particular religion. Against the backdrop of the cutthroat competition for increasing the number, Jesus’ message is very pertinent.


The purpose of calling disciples by Jesus was to become partners in his mission as well as to continue his mission.  Jesus mission was bringing about individual and social transformation in view of establishing God’s kingdom. Brining about change in the individuals and the societal structures is very challenging and it requires unreserved commitment. First of all the disciples themselves have to undergo transformation as envisaged in the Sermon on the Mount in order to become an agent of change in the society.


For Jesus mission was of paramount importance. That is why when he was teaching in the temple somebody reminded him that his mother and brothers had come to see him. Then he told them that whoever fulfils the will of God are his mother and brother. For the disciples of Jesus also the mission should be the top most priority. All other interests and concerns should be subjected to the mission Jesus and a disciple should be ready to give up everything for the sake of the mission of Jesus.


Therefore Jesus warned his disciples that they should assess whether they have the capacity and stamina to be his disciple before taking a decision. Once a decision is taken then he or should not turn back when confronted with difficulties and oppositions.


One of the conditions discipleship put forward by Jesus is carrying one’s own cross. Often cross is interpreted as accepting one’s suffering with equanimity, considering it as an opportunity to share in the suffering of Jesus. In fact, suffering in itself is an evil and that is why all efforts are being made to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Jesus healed many people and saved them from the agony of suffering. God, being a loving father and mother, does not want his children to suffer. Jesus also does not want his followers to suffer for his sake or to become partners in his suffering. But Jesus expects from his disciples courage and determination to follow his values. Sometimes following the values and principles of Jesus requires suffering or carrying the cross. There could be various occasions in the life of a disciple when he or she is tempted to compromise with the values of Jesus.


Sometimes telling truth or refusing to give bribe or refusing to give false witness may invite suffering. In such situations Jesus wants his disciples to undergo suffering rather than compromising with his values. Suffering undertaken for the sake of giving life to others is also meaningful.  Jesus suffered for the sake of others. We believe that he suffered for us human beings, to liberate us from our egoism and self centeredness and to show us the way of happiness.


Jesus was an inspiration for many to give up their comforts and even to accept difficulties, including death in order to serve the poor and the needy. Fr. Damian is an excellent example. When he opted to go to Moloka to take care of the lepers he knew that he was taking the risk of being affected by leprosy. After sixteen years’ caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony, , Father Damien died of the disease. He has been described as a “Martyr of Charity” Sister Valsa John who had organized local indigenous people in Jharkhand state to demand compensation from Panem Coal Ltd, a mining company operating in the area was brutally murdered four years ago. Many years she worked for the Santal indigenous people in the state’s Dumka Diocese and fought against the exploitation of the mining company. She was killed after a mob brutally attacked her at night with axes, sticks and knives. She had known that the vested interests were targeting her; but she did not withdraw from fighting for the rights of the exploited tribals. Indeed she was carrying the cross for the liberation of the tribals; she was participating in the liberative mission of Jesus.


Social activists who fight for the rights of tribals, dalits, women and the farmers who are displaced without proper rehabilitation and compensation are carrying the cross. All those who raise their voice against injustice and have to suffer as a consequence are carrying the cross of Jesus.


Unfortunately, cross which is a symbol of courage and determination to commit oneself for continuing the liberative mission of Christ has become an object of worship. Today’s Gospel invites the followers of Jesus to commit themselves to the liberative mission of Jesus and become true disciples of Jesus.


Fr. Jacob Peenickaparambil CMI

Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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