Those who would be disciples may have to use money for the sake of the Kingdom, but they must never be controlled by it. The Kingdom must be our priority.
Perhaps there were Christians in Luke's communities who'd been disloyal in times of persecution or sinned in other ways. Like the older brother in today's Gospel, the faithful ones may have resented the reconciliation of these wayward members.
In today's Gospel Jesus cautions his audience about the cost of discipleship. He will embrace his cross completely, giving his all. As his followers we must do the same.
The Lord challenges his listeners to allow others to take the seats of honor. How welcoming are we to those who are different in status or wealth?
The Kingdom of God will include unexpected challenges. The people who will be welcomed to the table might surprise you.
To preach the gospel will sometimes mean placing ourselves in opposition to prevailing opinion, and even in opposition to values held by our families and friends.
Today's Gospel is about preparedness and having our priorities straight. St. Luke wanted his community to hear Jesus' stern words about being prepared for the Master's return.
Jesus teaches that those who rely solely on material goods are storing up treasures that will not last. It's being "rich in what matters to God" that is true wealth in the Kingdom.
If we think of God as a loving friend or a kind parent then prayer will come a bit easier. God is ready to give us our daily bread and more if only we ask.
In our parishes, neighborhoods, and cities we need both dimensions of Christian hospitality: actively serving while truly listening and seeking to understand.