Posted by: frburke23 | November 5, 2013

Thought for Wednesday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 14:25-33

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“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.
Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?
Otherwise, after laying the foundation
and finding himself unable to finish the work
the onlookers should laugh at him and say,
‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’
Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down
and decide whether with ten thousand troops
he can successfully oppose another king
advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops?
But if not, while he is still far away,
he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms.
In the same way,
everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
cannot be my disciple.”
We all know that LOVE is the key for Jesus.  Love fulfills the law.  Love conquers all.

Then as we read this Gospel, we see that Jesus says we must “hate” our father, mother, brothers, sisters, even our own life.  How can we put “love” and “hate” together?  Well, I certainly don’t believe that Jesus is calling us to hate our family.  That goes against everything else He taught. 

What I believe Jesus is trying to say is that He should be first in our lives.   Jesus Christ must be the #1 priority in our lives, above our family, even above our own life.  And when He is the center of our life, all of our other relationships will be put into right order.  That is why marriages and friendships that are based in Jesus Christ last forever, because they are in right order.  But if the relationship is based on selfish interest or simply on a physical attraction, the relationship will not last.

Then Jesus tells a couple of stories about people planning in advance for what is about to come.  He basically is saying that it is silly to go about a task without looking ahead at the costs.  The same is true for our life as disciples of Jesus Christ.  There is a cost to discipleship.  What are the costs?  Sometimes we have to carry a heavy cross.  Sometimes we may lose friendships or even family relationships for our decision to follow Jesus.  Sometimes we have to deny ourselves of selfish pleasures to follow Christ.

But I don’t want to paint a bleak picture of discipleship, because the rewards are incredible – eternal life, peace and joy, solid relationships, faith, hope and love…  The list goes on and on.  I used to think that following Jesus would be boring.  The exact opposite is true.  Placing Jesus Christ at the center of my life has been the most incredible joy of my life.

So let us take time today to reflect on the following questions:

1)  Am I a person that makes love a priority in my life?

2)  Is Jesus Christ a priority and am I willing to pay the price of discipleship?

3) Am I willing to suffer for Christ or do I give up at the first sign of struggles?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

San Lucas 14,25-33

Junto con Jesús iba un gran gentío, y él, dándose vuelta, les dijo:
“Cualquiera que venga a mí y no me ame más que a su padre y a su madre, a su mujer y a sus hijos, a sus hermanos y hermanas, y hasta a su propia vida, no puede ser mi discípulo.
El que no carga con su cruz y me sigue, no puede ser mi discípulo.
¿Quién de ustedes, si quiere edificar una torre, no se sienta primero a calcular los gastos, para ver si tiene con qué terminarla?
No sea que una vez puestos los cimientos, no pueda acabar y todos los que lo vean se rían de él, diciendo:
‘Este comenzó a edificar y no pudo terminar’.
¿Y qué rey, cuando sale en campaña contra otro, no se sienta antes a considerar si con diez mil hombres puede enfrentar al que viene contra él con veinte mil?
Por el contrario, mientras el otro rey está todavía lejos, envía una embajada para negociar la paz.
De la misma manera, cualquiera de ustedes que no renuncie a todo lo que posee, no puede ser mi discípulo.


Todos sabemos que el amor es la clave para Jesús.  El amor cumple con la ley.  El amor conquista todo.

A continuación, al  leer este evangelio, vemos que Jesús dice que debemos “odiar” a nuestro padre, madre, hermanos, hermanas, incluso nuestra propia vida.  ¿Cómo ponemos el “amor” y “odio” juntos?  Pues bien, sin duda, no creo que Jesús nos llame a odiar a nuestra familia.  Va en contra de todo lo que Él nos ha  enseñado. 

Lo que creo que Jesús está intentando decir es que Él debe ser el primero en nuestras vidas.   Jesús Cristo debe ser nuestra primera prioridad en la vida, por encima de nuestra familia, incluso por encima de nuestra propia vida.  Y cuando Él es el centro de nuestra vida, el resto de nuestras relaciones serán puestas en el orden correcto.  Es por eso que los matrimonios y las amistades que están basadas en Jesucristo duran para siempre, porque están en el orden correcto.  Pero si la relación esta basada en  interés egoísta o simplemente en una atracción física, no va a durar la relación.

Entonces Jesús comparte un par de historias acerca de personas planificando con anticipo para lo que está por venir.  Básicamente nos está diciendo que no tiene razonamiento seguir con una tarea sin mirar hacia los costos del futuro.  Lo mismo es cierto de nuestra vida como discípulos de Jesucristo.  El discipulado tiene un precio.  ¿Cuáles son los costos?  A veces tenemos que cargar una cruz pesada.  A veces podemos perder amistades o incluso relaciones en nuestras familias por nuestra decisión de seguir a Cristo.  A veces tenemos que negarnos a nosotros mismos de placeres egoístas para poder seguir a Cristo.

Pero no quiero pintar un mal aspecto de discipulado, porque las recompensas son increíbles: la vida eterna, paz y alegría, relaciones sólidas, fe, esperanza y amor…  La lista es interminable.  Antes pensaba que el seguir a Jesús seria aburrido.  Es todo lo contrario.  Colocando a  Jesucristo en el centro de mi vida ha sido la alegría más increíble de mi vida.

Por lo tanto, tomemos un tiempo el día de hoy, para reflexionar sobre estas tres preguntas:

1) ¿Soy una persona que pone el amor como prioridad en mi vida?

2) ¿Es Jesucristo la prioridad y estoy dispuesto a pagar el precio del Discipulado?

3) ¿Estoy dispuesto a sufrir por Cristo en la vida o me rindo a primera lucha?

Que Dios te bendiga,

Padre Burke



  1. Thank you, Father, for this daily scripture and commentary. It is so well done. It is informative and practical. Virtue is in the middle, and the neophyte can easily fall into excessive zeal and scruplelosity. The ordinary is really extraordinary. Len

  2. Thanks Fr. Burke….Much thought in pondering these passed few days. Perfect timing in yesterdays post….Baseball son (senior this yr.) looking into colleges….wrote for yesterday, “Do not use excuses to get out of Church.” May he always remember this. Very hard to see his age group in Church.

    Thanks for helping us with the Spiritual Guidance in his life….

    Was wondering can you give us any insight on Benedictine University? The visit was a good one. We even met up with the baseball coaches…They are very much interested in Him. Told him without even seeing him do any drills that he was a perferred player. We were taking this because of his highschool grades…and his ACT test score…He also has a atheletic built. He is pretty strong. Very Blessed and Gifted.

    Decision…Decision. Your words: He basically is saying that it is silly to go about a task without looking ahead at the costs…..There is a cost to discipleship. Take up this Cross. Faith and Trust in Him…whom loves Him more than we.

    Thanks much again…Been Blessed,

  3. In this time of same sex ‘marriage’ and ENDA, it is very possible to lose friends. I am saddened by the adoption of the secular mindset among my Christian and Catholic Christian friends. It’s tough to know what to say or how to say it.

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