A disciple according to the English dictionary is a personal follower of Jesus during his life, especially one of the twelve Apostles. We are followers of Jesus Christ, so we are his disciples. Being a disciple of Christ has its requirements and demands. Today’s readings point out to us two important demands of discipleship. These demands of discipleship are the call to love our neighbor and the call to detachment from earthly things. In the first reading 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21, we heard of God’s love for Elisha by calling him and how Elijah confronted Elisha’s attachment to his family. St. Paul in our second reading from Galatians 5:1; 13-18 emphasized that the ‘Love of neighbor’ is the fulfillment of the whole law and our call to freedom. Then Jesus in the gospel reading from St. Luke 9:51-62 accepted the Samaritans’ rejection with humility and showed them love in return. Love of neighbor hence is of great significance in our lives as Christians because it will set us free as emphasized by St. Paul in the second reading and bring us closer to God.

So are you really a disciple of Christ, that is, one who loves their neighbor? Do you truly and sincerely love your neighbor, and if you do, how have you exemplified that love? How is that love evident in your thoughts, words and actions? Have you detached yourself from those things that hinder you from answering your call to discipleship? Have you truly let go of your earthly attachments so as to concentrate on those things that will help you attain the kingdom of heaven?

My dear friends in Christ, do not forget St. Paul’s words to us in the second reading today stating ‘Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.’ Hence, let us not be slaves to hatred for it kills the love of God and neighbor that should exist in us. Also, let us not be slaves to earthly things and people by our undue attachments to them, rather, let us focus on Christ as the source and summit of our faith and lives.