In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses statements that can appear confusing.
He uses strong Semitic language to wake us up!
‘Hating mother and father…even one’s own life cannot be my disciple.’
This same Jesus tells us to love even our enemies, to love everyone.
Of course, he does not want us to hate anyone including ourselves!!
He is calling us to a healthy detachment.
Nothing can take the place of God in our lives. Even such very good things as family cannot take the place of God!
Indeed, we are called to follow the example of Jesus who remained true to His commitments even though it led him to the cross. He did not have a death wish! However, He knew that the commitment of remaining true to His mission of love was going to have serious consequences, even that of dying.
He remained faithful.
Saint Paul says, ‘I count everything as loss compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ (Philippians chapter 3).
The fact is that the more free and more unconditional our love is, the deeper and freer it becomes.
The more that I surrender to God, the more deeply and richly I am able to love all others including family and friends.
So far from hating people the greater my love becomes for all!
Healthy detachment is about truth.
We lose ourselves, we lose our ‘ego’, our false self, to find our true self!