Pastor’s Desk – 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We can all be attracted by the idea of a bargain or something that, on face value, may seem to be a good offer. Our television screens are filled with advertisements trying to lure us to buy a product or sign up to a contract with some service provider. A particular supermarket may be offering extra points on their loyalty cards if we purchase a particular item this week. The mobile phone companies may appear to be offering free upgrades and good deals with extra minutes and data. Then there are the gambling sites trying to get people to sign up with the promise of €10 credit with your first play or bet. On face value all these offers may seem good and irresistible but in reality when we look at the small print they all come with terms and conditions attached.

In today’s Gospel Jesus is quick to point out that there are no hidden terms and conditions in being a disciple or follower. He is upfront in setting out the challenge and the cost to us. He lays down the four conditions for true Christian discipleship. Renouncing any attachment to family by putting God first before any other relationships and self interest.  By cutting off any attachment we may have to personal possessions and always share our blessings with others. Accepting the hard consequences of discipleship daily. And finally, we should always calculate the cost involved in all our actions. Jesus says: we need to think long and hard about Christian discipleship before we make any decision.

In a nutshell if we are to follow Christ through time into eternity, it costs nothing less than everything. The challenge for all of us is to answer that call daily through prayer and positive action in our lives.

Fr Gerry