Saturday, September 3, 2016

Counting the Cost of Following Christ

Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? When we seek to follow Christ, we need to examine our life daily. It is easy to just get into the habit of daily life as if Christ were not our model and example to follow… just following our own daily plans and what we wish our life to be like. 
But being a Christian is much different than this. Our Lord tells us that if we desire to follow Him, we must sit down and reflect on our life to see if we are willing to bring it to completion…. To conform our daily life, in other words, to His and to count the true cost of discipleship. 
What is discipleship and what does it mean to follow Our Lord and be a Christian? · It is more than just following the Commandments, otherwise we would just be following the Jewish line of thought in just doing what the Law of the Old Testament offers us. It means not only accepting Christ, but seeking to not only follow His teachings but also to imitate, as much as we are able with the help of His grace, to follow His own way of life. This includes a real and concrete detachment to the spirit of this world. Not seeking “more and a better way of life for ourselves by building bigger barns or a comfortable way of life” but concretely looking at the Cross and realizing that Our Lord really and truly wants us to deny ourselves and to follow Him… to think of the needs of others before ourselves. If we have two cloaks… to offer the other for the person who has none. To give not only from our abundance, but to also make a personal sacrifice in giving to the poor and to the Church. The widow who comes in to the church and offers her own offering which was a small amount in the eyes of others… but nonetheless, was all she had left to give… and she thought of giving to God before her own needs. 
Christianity is literally about seeking to walk with Our Lord in our daily life… to be taught by the examples He gives us in the Gospels not only through His words but also by His own way of life and to make them our own. This is counting the cost.
I often think in my own life, before I buy something, “Do I really need this? Is it more than I need?” Am I accountable for what I have and what I share with others, including what I receive for work and services? Do I try to keep my heart and thoughts pure? Seeking to turn away from negative thoughts of others and to pray for them instead? Do I try to examine my life each day and see whether or not I am actually following Our Lord, making time for prayer and to be led by Him, or seeking to do my own thing… or go my own way, so to speak.
Our Lord desires to lead us into an authentic Christian way of life. May our hearts and minds be open to truly reflect on what it means to be His disciple and whether or not we are really willing to count the cost in our daily life.

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