Sometimes I need a push to dive into something demanding, be it an unpleasant task, a tediously long and boring job or just motivating myself for a variety of tasks. Motivation and persistence do not come naturally to many of us.
The Gospel for this Sunday is about a journey but the end is not something I would choose. As I reflected on our Gospel I was reminded of the following quote from a book I read early in my spiritual journey –“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave powerful voice to the millions of Christians who believe personal sacrifice is an essential component of faith.
Jesus is determined to journey to Jerusalem. This might seem like a pleasant trip, until we realize that the journey to Jerusalem is really a metaphor for his passion, death and resurrection! As disciples, we are invited to join Jesus on this journey to new life. We spend our whole lives working out what began at baptism: following Jesus through death into life. We spend our whole lives learning how to be resolutely determined and faithful on our journey.
The challenge of this Gospel is to accept the cost of discipleship – to accept dying to self that is necessary to following Jesus and to cooperate with him in establishing God’s reign.
Frustration and fatigue, disappointment and rejection can stop us dead in our tracks. Even so, Jesus is very patient. giving us the strength we need to continue the journey. This strength comes from the love and support of family and friends, through learning to let go of less important things, by experiencing the good of our self-giving.
The Good News – rely on Jesus who has promised to be with us to the end of our journey.