We live in troubling times as our belief in God is challenged daily. Many of us Catholic Christians have vehemently opposed the teachings of the Church, rejected it, criticized it, ridiculed it and even watered it down to suit our personal idiosyncrasies and ideologies. Some of us come to Mass on Sundays not to be grateful to God for his blessings, graces and mercies upon us but just to show people we go to Church or we fulfill our Sunday obligation. Some of us help or participate in various ministries or prayer groups to be praised or just for the fun of it rather than to become better Christians, grow in our faith or proclaim the gospel of Christ as taught by the Catholic Church. Some of us are for Christ every Sunday and against Him for the others six days of the week.

What have we become my fellow Catholic Christians!
Jesus in his address to the crowd in today’s gospel reading (Lk 14:25-33) gives us some food for thought as regards to our faith in Him. Jesus points out to us that, "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple…. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple." With these words, Jesus gives us the prerequisites of discipleship, emphasizing that though our love for God and neighbor is the main requirement for being His disciples, there still exist other important and essential elements needed for us to become true disciples of His. What are these prerequisites or elements of true discipleship? They are:

Firstly, Detachment which is the act or process of disconnecting or detaching or separating ourselves from the world or things of the world. This is why Jesus said, "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple," reminding us that if we want to become true disciples of His, our relationship with Him should take priority over every other relationship. This is why we have to detach, disconnect and separate ourselves from all and everything that hinders us from coming closer to God or destroys our relationship with God.

Secondly, Suffering, that is, the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship in other to attain the kingdom of heaven by carrying and bearing our crosses as stated by Jesus Himself.

Lastly, Total commitment which is our agreement or pledge to wholeheartedly follow Christ and give or show our firm and constant support or allegiance to Him by giving up and renouncing all our possessions and “come after Me” as stated by Jesus in today’s gospel reading.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, there exists about 1.3 billion Catholics Christians in the world today, but how many of us are truly dedicated to our Catholic faith, teachings and doctrines? And how many of us live out the gospel of Christ? Hence, if you want to be a true disciple of Christ today, detach yourself from the world or things of the world; carry and bear your cross daily then totally dedicate and commit yourself to God by being loyal to Him and by following Him.