Saturday, September 4, 2010


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:


Jesus first.
Others second.
Yourself last.

I've never forgotten that. 

Especially when I read a scary passage like Sunday's gospel.

God Bless.


Shirley said...

Great acronym! I'll have to remember that one.

Karinann said...

I agree that the "hate" in Sunday's Gospel is a bit frightening. Here is what the Douay-Rheims note on that phrase says:
"Hate not"... The law of Christ does not allow us to hate even our enemies, much less our parents: but the meaning of the text is, that we must be in that disposition of soul, as to be willing to renounce, and part with every thing, how near or dear soever it may be to us, that would keep us from following Christ.
Thanks for the JOY reminder as well!
God bless.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Lovely post and acronym and a great reminder of the dangers of taking things too literally.

On our return home from Church a few years back, I picked up my wife in my arms, gave her a big hug and kiss and proceeded to enter the house. "Are you mad?" she asked, "what got into you?"

"Haven't you heard today's Gospel?" I said, "Pick up your Cross and follow me ..."

I got punched in the face and no Sunday dinner.

God bless.

paramedicgirl said...

Sounds like she was a good teacher.I will have to employ that acronym in my catechism lessons this year. Thanks!

Michael said...

Thanks for all the comments!

(Victor ... I made a note not to follow your lead on this one ;) )

I am very thankful for that teacher. Its a shame that sometimes I still spell JOY ... YJO.

God Bless.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Love this acronym. An easy way to remember the two great commandments.