Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi
Today’s gospel is very special in all senses because it very clearly explains to us the cost of discipleship. In the first part Jesus himself says that even the animals that are considered to be lower than human beings who are the crown of creation, have some place to stay and consider their own;whereas the son of man has nothing – not even a place to lay down his head. This may look very illogical and confusing, especially taking into consideration the fact that Jesus speaks about this while answering an individual who wanted to follow him. We could still be wondering about the meaning of the words of Jesus, and about what exactly he meant through these words. And the verses that follow are still more difficult to comprehend because Jesus,who is supposed to be the most humane and perfect human person, is using very harsh words to a person who wanted to bury his father; nor did he allow another to just go home and say good-bye to the loved ones before he could become Jesus’ disciple. Why is it? Is Jesus so angry and so cruel in his approach?
No it is merely because he wants us to understand the cost of discipleship. Now there are two ways in which he explains the cost of discipleship. The first explanation is from His own life. It is not that Jesus didn’t have anything that was His own in the world, rather what He meant was the detachment that He had. He was completely detached from all the earthly goods and material possessions. That is why he says that he doesn’t even have a place to lay his head. The second way of explaining the cost of discipleship is the way of using such hard words so that the one who is willing to follow Christ will never be possessed by anything in the world. It even goes to the extreme of leaving one’s family and loved ones behind. Keeping these in mind, can we sincerely call ourselves real followers of Christ? Are our hearts really centered on the person of Christ or does it long for worldly things.It is good to give it a thought today.