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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

November 8, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Philippians 2:12-18
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Luke 14:25-33

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

In recent weeks our gospel readings have dealt much with what it takes to follow Jesus. A recurring theme has been sacrifice and how one must be willing to make sacrifices to be a true follower of the Lord. In today’s gospel, Jesus delivers the same message, but in some of the strongest language we have yet heard.

When one first hears our Lord say that we must hate our mother and father, wife, children and families to be His disciples, many are shocked. “This is just too harsh,” many might say. Then, the next line seems even worse–we must hate our very lives! No doubt, many that heard these words turned and walked away, thinking the sacrifices were too much.

Did Jesus really mean we should hate our parents, in contradiction with the laws of Moses? Did Jesus really mean that we should hate our lives, while He loved every life he encountered? Perhaps, but the message is much deeper than this. Jesus wanted His followers to realize that the reward–the pearl of great price–was of such value that we must be willing to sacrifice all for it. He also wants His followers to realize that their lives are in constant need of change and conversion and we should hate our sinful selves and strive for holiness. Finally, He knows that material belongings can quickly become idols, drawing our attention away from Him.

Yes, the demands are great, but so is the ending. Jesus was very up front in saying that following Him was not easy, but nothing that is worth having is gained without sacrifice.

- Don Claunch, SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

Wednesday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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