Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Plan A

The book of Wisdom extolls the inscrutable wisdom and ways of God. Paul sends Onesimus to Philemon asking the latter to be generous, kind, and brotherly to Onesimus. Jesus speaks of the non-negotiability of giving ‘primacy to God’ in following him.

Jesus observes that it will be foolhardy for anyone to venture into any business or construction or war without a realistic assessment of one’s resources. However, when it comes to spiritual edifice or combat, the honest truth is that we never have enough personal resources to succeed. If we do not have the humility to acknowledge it from the very start, great will be our fall. So, we must embrace Plan B, which should ideally be Plan A: Acknowledge our inability, and beg resources from God Himself; or, rather, beg God to take over from the very beginning, and we join whatever resources God has provided us with. Even the task of loving God above and beyond everyone and everything can be realized only by God’s own Grace. In the end, if at all we boast, we can only boast of God’s own works in us (1 Cor. 1:31).

For the grace to give primacy to God in everything.

Read and meditate on Psalm 139.


Whoever "does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple".

The following of Jesus is a serious and at the same time joyful commitment; it requires radicalism and effort to recognise the divine Master in the poorest and most discarded of life and to place oneself at his service; for this reason, volunteers who serve the least and the needy out of love for Jesus do not expect any thanks or gratification, but renounce all this because they have discovered true love. 

But Jesus is clear and radical in telling us: "If anyone comes to me and does not put aside his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers and sisters, and even himself, he cannot be my disciple" (Lk 14 26). 

The need to deny oneself, i.e. to renounce one's own will in order to do the will of God, like Jesus, who did not come into this world to be served but to serve, is probably the most difficult, because it is a struggle against our capricious passions that suffocate us. To renounce all goods means to put being before having, so that we are never drowned by the cares and affairs of life, but it is clear that there can be no stronger demands than family, self and goods. Well, these three realities, so dear to us, we must be ready to leave them behind if we want to follow Jesus wherever he goes.

With great humour, St Teresa of Avila said: "Lord, now I understand why you have so few friends". The Lord expects us to measure our strength to see if we are able to put the Gospel before everything else: he does not want blind and forced followers, but thoughtful and personally committed ones. To be able to do this, he gives us his Spirit. This is our hope. 

Prayer: Lord, do not let our attachment to the goods of this world prevent us from following you. 



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