A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 13:8-10)
“Love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Brethren: Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm ll2: lb-2.4-5.9 (R. 5a)
R/. It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends.
Blessed the man who fears the Lord,
who takes great delight in his commandments.
His descendants shall be powerful on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blest. R/.
A light rises in the darkness for the upright;
he is generous, merciful and just.
It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice. R/.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm forever.
His might shall be exalted in glory. R/.
ALLELUIA 1 Peter 4: 14
Alleluia. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God rests upon you. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 14:25-33)
“Whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
At that time: Great multitudes accompanied Jesus; and he turned and said to them, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The nucleus of the spiritual life is to love God, and love everything else for his sake. To put it differently: to detach oneself from family, property and wealth and to attach oneself only to God. But sadly, we sinners, as St Augustine says, fall into the trap of loving the creation and forgetting the creator. We treat things as our gods, disregarding who has created them. We are challenged today to choose Christ over those voices and things that are clamouring for our attention. We are challenged to love Jesus first and last. Jesus makes this point by the stark exaggeration, “Unless you hate your father, mother, wife, children, brothers and sisters….” We are to hate them in the measure that they have become gods to us, for precisely in that measure they are dangerous.