Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI

Reflection for Sept. 4, 2016

What does it cost to give ourselves to God?

by Sister Annette Koss

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus calls for discipleship and reminds us that this requires both renunciation and calculation -- knowing what discipleship costs.

We know that those who wish to follow Jesus must renounce everyone and everything that gets in the way of a single-minded response to God. We need to think about and consent to the cost, the price of giving our all to Christ. Sometimes it means even giving our life. The price may seem high -- but we know that what God gives us in return is beyond price -- the fullness of life.

It seems strange today to hear Jesus speak about the need to "hate" our family and even our life if we are to be his disciple. We know that this isn't a literal command, because Jesus always calls us to "love" one another. Maybe his point is that we need to "love others in proportion". If we allow the love of God to be first in our life then our beloved family and others will come right along with it.

If we are tempted to love material things too much, we need to renounce those things. Things are good and helpful when they are in proportion.

Jesus also reminds us about the need to carry our cross. Suffering is a part of every life -- even when our own life seems pretty comfortable at times. There is great pain and suffering in our world. "Taking up our cross" sends us out with Jesus to be with and to help other people carry their cross and pain.

Lord, we pay a lot to walk with you; carrying a cross, clinging to nothing and no one: family, friends, house, car, clothes, money. Help us to let go of them, and more, to take them up again only in you.

Thank you Sister for your reflective reminder!

As for carrying the cross, I believe it could be God's intent that the best parts of ourselves are revealed only through painful experience. Thanks for reminding me of that!

Thank you for your powerful message, we need to be reminded often.

We need reminding to keep the main thing the main thing. Thank you.


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