Sunday, September 8, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

Have you ever heard someone put it all on the line?

“If you want to become a concert pianist, you will have to give up family, friends, sports, television, X-box, and more. You just can’t achieve this unless it becomes for you No. 1 and before everything else. Do you want to become a concert pianist?”

That is the choice people make when they want something more than anything else: concert pianist, basketball star, best selling novelist, scholar, Nobel Prize-winning scientist, greatest teacher, ballerina.

So when Jesus says "anyone who wants to become my disciple, who wants to follow me" must put it all on the line; they must hate father and mother; children; even their own life. They must take up their cross and follow me. They must renounce all of their possessions.

Being attached to anything or anyone becomes a problem and gets in the way of becoming a disciple. It is really a matter of the heart: focus, alignment, fidelity, and sticking with it. These are some of the inner faith/heart issues that are involved in giving up everything and everyone to follow Jesus and to become his disciple.

Is it literal? Is it figurative? Is it a way of being or thinking? Are we willing to put it all on the line?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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