Step #1: Lectio / Read
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
There it is. Jesus said it Himself: you're supposed to hate your brothers and sisters! I mean, they can be so annoying sometimes... or like all the time. (And how did Jesus know that since He was an only child?)
Jesus is obviously not talking about hating your brother or sister. In fact, He means the opposite. He's saying that when you choose to follow Him, even the people you love the most may turn against you or persecute you. The point Jesus is making in today's gospel is that discipleship -- being a follower of Jesus -- always comes at a cost. If being a disciple of Christ is super easy for you, you're probably doing it wrong.
Jesus talks about constructing a tower and a king marching into battle. So before you decide to give your life to Him, sit down and think about whether you're really ready to pay the cost of discipleship. A lot of times we follow Jesus because we think life will get easier and He'll make us feel better during difficult times... but faith doesn't always feel good.
So what is the cost of discipleship and why would we want to pay it? It's kinda simple: Discipleship costs you everything, but it's worth it because you receive everything in return.
It costs us everything because we must conform our lives to that of Jesus Christ. We must become like Him. And that means letting go of anything and everything that separates us from Him. All the sins, attachments and vices that are incompatible with the life of a disciple must go. And since we're addicted to these things, it hurts. This is what today's gospel is about.
We receive everything in return because as we make more room for Him in our heart, He can fill us with more of His love and grace. More and more He becomes everything to us. So while the cost of discipleship is great, Jesus is worth every ounce of sacrifice, every moment of suffering.
What are you willing to pay towards the cost of discipleship today?
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
Think about the top 5-10 most important things in your life. Could be people, possessions, hopes or dreams, etc. Talk to Jesus about whether or not these are compatible with the life of a disciple (i.e. are they sinful or unhealthy).
What sins, attachments or vices are present in your life that keep you from Christ? Focus specifically on those things that you really, really don't want to let go of or are afraid to.
Ask our Lord for the courage and humility to let go of those things that keep you from Him. Ask Him to give you the strength to pay the cost of discipleship.
Pray that the Lord would fill you as you empty out those things that shouldn't be in your heart. Ask Him for more and more of His grace and love.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple."
"Lord, help me to pay the cost of discipleship."
"Jesus, You are everything to me."
For the Rest of Your Day...
When you notice yourself falling into a sin or bad habit, take a moment to offer that to Jesus and ask Him to fill you with His grace.
Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff.