"Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever." Ps 72:3It is clear in the Catholic tradition that there can be no lasting peace without justice, and no matter how often we proclaim this important truth, we forget it ourselves and fail to convince others. Why? Because doing justice is hard work.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the theologian and holocaust victim, reminded us often in The Cost of Discipleship, that living the Gospel demands sacrifice and surrender to God's plan for humankind, and this is never easy. Listen. "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."
In Bonhoeffer's case the cost of discipleship meant letting go of his family and the new love of his life, Maria von Redemeyer. A confirmed bachelor most of his life, Bonhoeffer fell in love in his mid thirties and the love he experienced was intense. In his Letters and Papers from Prison, he writes to Maria about the terrible duty he has to speak the truth, defend the Jews and oppose Hitler and the Nazis. Apologizing to her, he assures her that their love would be empty if he failed to live the Gospel with integrity.
It is important for every believer to pray for the courage to be a disciple no matter the circumstances or the cost of living the Gospel. Every great gift demands sacrifice. We should never be surprised by faith's challenges.
Today, pray to be free to live the Gospel without fear.
Have you ever experienced the cost of discipleship?