On this Sunday the Lord is speaking to his disciples and he is concluding his discourse on mission. He gives them two pieces of advice with assurance. If we want to be his disciples, we must follow his advice.
The first advice is what His disciples prefer Him to ourselves. Let the Lord be the centre of our lives. That is, let his disciples live for the Lord and through the Lord. For this, He asks us to discern. What good is it to earn all the goods of the world if we lose our own lives? He is advising us to choose the giver of life than life itself.
Jesus teaches his disciples and invites them to understand the demands of being his disciples. To be his disciple, is not simply an acceptance of his philosophy, a way of life, or to put into practice all that he teaches us, such as his commandment of love. These teachings are offered to pagans, who do not know the Lord. For us, who have received the faith, we cannot be content like the lovers of God. Faith helps us to grow as children of God. To become His disciples, is to become Himself for our brothers and sisters.
Like the trees that do not eat His fruit, the fruits of our faith will help our brothers and sisters to savor God's mercy and to discover how much God loves them through us, especially through our positive commitment to the fulfillment of God's will.
"He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. "What are our crosses of life, rather of daily life that we would like to avoid, that the Lord asks us to carry? In the first reading of the day, we heard the story of a Sunamite woman, a rich woman, who wanted the prophet to come to her home and eat. It was not a cross, yet preparing a small room for him with the terrace, so that he could stay there regularly, especially to convince her husband, was certainly a cross. She did assume this cross and God has blessed her with a child. Jesus is inviting us to assume these daily crosses and we will be blessed.
The Lord assures us of his presence and also the reward to all those who will welcome us. If Jesus sent from the father sends us to the other, let us not forget that the other is also sent by God to me. The more we recognize this truth of life, the more joyful and grateful we will be in welcoming others. I know that it is difficult to do this every day and to everyone. Let us take up this cross, recognizing God's presence in human encounters, let us transform them as a divine encounter and we will see the wonders of God.