No matter how we read or interpret today’s readings, the bottom line is that being a follower of Jesus, pursuing lives of stewardship, is not going to be easy. The message of the Gospel in particular presents Jesus speaking about being His disciple as a difficult path indeed.

As stewards we should not and cannot be put off by these challenges. What the Lord is saying are things we already know, including that there may be conflicts in our own families; we will have our own Crosses to bear; and we must be prepared to love the Lord more than we care for the things in this world.

Jesus is reminding us that we must be equipped for these kinds of obstacles. However, did we not already know that? In the Gospel He speaks of being ready to be His disciple. To be a steward, to be ready, means that we must have a close relationship with the Lord. It means that we understand the importance and the power of prayer. And most of all it means that we know that Jesus is with us every step of the way.  As our Holy Father Pope Francis said recently at the World Youth Day celebration: “Put on Christ in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust.”

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