Commitment is a dangerous word these days. It is so dangerous that people want to keep away from it. It is too powerful, it seems to restrict freedom, some say. It is too binding and is contradictory to a life that is selfish and self seeking. Commitment, some say, is difficult to maintain, it goes against the value of doing it my way. It is too destructive, it damages lives.

Today’s Gospel testifies boldly to the language of commitment -the cross of following Jesus. A follower of Jesus must be committed, no matter what. Life with Christ involves suffering, persecution, and detachment. Jesus does not say that the road of discipleship comes easy, but he promises to be with us always even to the end of time -now that is commitment.

There is a challenge in following Jesus and committing our lives to him. Our loved ones, families, friends and those close to us will not understand our ways- there will be conflict. How true this is when you one person in the family is so dedicated to the cause of the gospel and seeking a life with the Lord. The family becomes their own worst enemy. They do not understand nor accept the new life and responsibilities of their commitment as Christian.

To follow Jesus is to carry the cross and put him above all else. Jesus becomes top priority. Scripture teaches us to seek first the Kingdom of God and then everything is added. Someone once said the life of a Christian is a battle but the rewards are heavenly. Being a follower of Jesus reverses our attitude and way of living. No longer are we seeking selfish pursuits but godly pursuits.

Jesus poses a challenge for each of his disciples. They will experience hardship and difficulty, some will experience martyrdom. The disciple is to lay down his life for his friends in imitation of Jesus. The one concerned for the Lords affairs will certainly be rewarded and the one who welcomes these envoys will be received by the One who sent them. The disciple of Jesus will lose his life as they commit to service and mission. God will provide for all their needs and supply the grace necessary to carry out his will.

Where are my priorities? Have I committed myself to God as a Christian? Am I willing to follow Jesus every day, no matter what the cost?

Lord, I commit myself to you. Help me to carry my cross and follow you. Lord be with me because my spirit is willing yet my flesh is weak. Amen