Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr Tryphon Bimbangu CMF

Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18; Ps 89:3-6, 12-14, 17; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14: 25-33

Detachment and attachment: the project to follow Jesus

Brothers and sisters,

As Christians, we are disciples of Jesus and we have to imitate his life again to follow him on the way he chose on earth. That is not a simple affair, nor a passenger program for one day. Much more, it is a project for the whole of life that requires preparation, discernment and firm decision. The vocation to be a disciple is a choice able to change or to upset even our deeper social relationships. Because it is an exclusive choice to which Jesus is the only reference.

But, how can we understand this radical appeal of Christ? Would he teach us to hate our own and our family members? It would be a paradox with all his teaching and his mission. Because all his life is an expression of great love and love is not only the synthesis of his teaching, but also his own commandment to those who follow him. Then, what does to hate or to carry the cross mean in this context?  As attentive as we are, we can understand that not to hate those that we must love for Jesus, means to be free, before every social relationship which can prevent us from loving Christ and serving him with all our heart; free before material goods, free before power and free before all human relationships. That is the detachment. Then, we need to build another type of relationship with Christ, carrying the cross, that means, accepting all kinds of difficulties that the detachment can cause around us. That is the attachment.

Only like this can we be disciples of Christ and open ourselves to a large possibility for a universal love. So, we can really love men, not as blood-brothers, but much better, as brothers in the Lord. In other words, to be disciples means therefore, to love people not according to human considerations, but according to God’s will, or to watch men not with human eyes but with God’s eyes; because human considerations exclude whilst God’s views include. Loving men or any other creature more than God can exclude even God from the cycle of relationship, but according to the love of God all the world is embraced, as Jesus showed us on the cross. Jesus knows that such a project is difficult to achieve, but not impossible. That’s why he proposes that we take time, to discern and experience its strengths, if they allow us to follow him.

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