If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.(Luke 14:26)
I remember reading this passage in Catechism class when I was a young boy.
It nearly sent me running from the Church. (Or at least to the pay phone to call my parents to pick me up ...)
Read literally, it is too harsh to handle. Hating your parents or spouse makes Jesus' next request to give up possessions seem rather simple.
Luckily, my teacher noticed the terror in my eyes and quickly explained to all of us that a more accurate translation of the word "hate" was "to love less" - and Jesus was really telling us that our love for He and His Father should not be surpassed by that for any other.
She then went on to give us a simple rule for "assigning" our love and attention:
I've never forgotten that.
Especially when I read a scary passage like Sunday's gospel.