We might wonder why anyone would want to be a disciple, because so much is demanded. As disciples we commit ourselves to values and principles that are not cherished by everyone. We can be misunderstood for our beliefs, even ridiculed. In fact our lives may actually be a reproach to those who do not share our aspirations. There may be times when we must stand in opposition to others. All of this tends to alienate us. It could even place us at enmity with those we love.
Yet, if we are genuinely committed, we realise there is also a price to pay if we are not faithful. It is very difficult to live with ourselves when we disregard our deepest convictions and ignore the promptings of God we experience within ourselves. As difficult as a life of faith may be, we know that such a life is the only way to live in this world. We realise that we could not control life. Rather, we are carried by it, and so we must make friends with its mystery and ambiguity. Fidelity may exact a dear price, but it is the only way open to us if we are to be true to ourselves and to God.
Faced with the cost of discipleship, we are brought to the realisation that by ourselves we do not have the resources to pay it. We need assistance. The readings from Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10, assures us that God will stoop down and draw us out of the pit within we find ourselves. We might find as did the prophet, that this aid welcome from places we have never expected.
e.g. strangers, or children. We may find that those who are close to us are not supportive, but there are others who appreciate the stands we take, the direction we set for ourselves. We may discover while we loose some brothers and sisters, we gain others.
The real support and assistance we get is from Jesus, who came to set the world and our hearts on fire. He endured the cross and gave us an example to follow. Actually, as disciples we do not have to do heroic deeds. We only have to live our normal lives in heroic ways. But people do that all the time. Parents sacrifice themselves for their children; police and firefighters put themselves at risk for perfect strangers. Daily we hear people acting heroically. The grace of God is mediated to us through these people. Whether stranger or friend, they belong to the throng that surrounds us. Through them the grace of God can accomplish extraordinary feats.
Rev Samata Elia