Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2016
Years I ago I lived in Milwaukee for a while, and as I traveled back then through downtown and near Lake Michigan, I would pass a highway bridge sitting all alone. There was no way to drive up on the bridge; no ramps had been built leading onto or away from it. There seemed to be no construction going on anywhere near the bridge. I often wondered about this strange sight. Had the bridge been completed before there was enough funding to build the connecting highways?
That story reminds me of today’s Gospel: Jesus cautions his audience about the cost of discipleship. Jesus will embrace his cross completely, giving his all. We, his followers, must do the same. Jesus urges us to give our all, carrying our own cross and following after him. How does he drive home his point? Jesus uses a couple of down-to-earth examples: A builder must calculate the construction costs before beginning to build; a king must know if he can win a battle with the troops at his disposal. Jesus’ stark conclusion: we cannot be his disciples without a total commitment.
I’m sure that bridge in downtown Milwaukee has since been completed. But how are you and I doing as we work on our lifelong project of Christian discipleship?