Gospel Reflection- Wednesday (28 September) – 26th week of Ordinary Time – Dare to be a disciple
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (9: 57-62) in which Jesus shares with his disciples the cost of following him saying, ‘The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’.
Fr Paul says the journey up to Jerusalem, to the Passion the arrest, torture and death of Jesus, begins with the three lessons we hear of in today’s Gospel about the demands of discipleship. These are demanded of every disciple of Jesus.
Firstly, we hear is that The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. This means that the disciple has no right to creature comforts. The contrast is made most extreme by the illustration of a jackal: this is the wildest, most savage of creatures, making a living as a scavenger; and yet even the jackal has a lair when Jesus has none. Keep in mind that the jackal refers to the fox mentioned in the version we read today.
Secondly, and perhaps the most counter-cultural of all Jesus’ demands, because in a close Jewish family burying the father was regarded as a sacred duty, and yet Jesus is teaching that not even this can stand in the way of our duty to respond to the call of Jesus.
Thirdly, we hear of an even more rigorous condition than the first two – that is not to look back even to bid the family farewell. Not even the most deep and sacred of natural ties can stand in the way of the demands of following Jesus.
Fr Paul says, when we read this Gospel, we might think that the conditions of discipleship may be unfeeling or unacceptably harsh, but they are the lessons and the challenge that Jesus puts to his followers.