Year C 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

1 Kgs. 19:16b, 19-21; Gal. 5:1, 13-18; Lk. 9:51-62
Since the beginning of Christianity, there have been countless stories shared of martyrdom and costly discipleship. Thousands of men and women have embraced martyrdom for the cause of Christ. Many people knew the cost to follow Jesus and

were ready to give witness to Christ, even in the face of intense suffering and persecution.
St Stephen was the first martyr. He died in 36 AD in Jerusalem. He was one of the first seven deacons chosen by the early Christian community and became an evangelist. His success in converting Jews drew the anger of the Sanhedrin (the supreme rabbinic court). His punishment for speaking against “The law” was to be stoned to death.
St Peter was crucified. St Paul was beheaded. St Catherine was pressed to death. St Alban was beheaded. St Sebastian was shot to death with arrows. St Lawrence was grilled alive. Cassian was killed by his students with their tablets and styluses. Joan of Arc was burned to death. Pope Clement 1 was thrown into the sea. Pope Pontian was condemned to mines in Sardinia and died on island of Tavolara. Pope John 1 was starved to death. John VIII was poisoned and then clubbed to death. Leo V was strangled.
Today’s Gospel puts before us Jesus call. “To another Jesus said, 'Follow me.' But he replied, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'

Another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.' Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'" [Lk. 9:51-62]
My brothers and sisters in Christ, this is today's message to us from God. In true discipleship, there is no turning back. In the first reading we heard that the Lord commissioned Elijah to anoint Elisha. Elisha did not hesitate to answer God's call.
We too have responded to Jesus call to discipleship through our live in the church. Yet there are a few demands that discipleship lays on us. As true disciples of Jesus we must show extraordinary Love for People. Jesus modelled extraordinary love for all people, and He came to teach us how to do the same. He came to break down the barriers that separate us. We are meant to be a light to the world.
There is a story about a Guru and his extraordinary disciple.
The guru whispered the sacred mantra into his disciple’s ear, warning him not to reveal it to anyone.
“What will happen if I do?” he asked.
Guru replied, "The one who hears it, shall be liberated, but you yourself will lose discipleship and suffer damnation.”
Immediately, the devotee rushed to the marketplace, and repeated the sacred mantra for all to hear.
The disciples later reported this to the guru and demanded that the man be expelled, for his disobedience.
The guru smiled and said, “He has no need of anything I can teach. His action has shown him to be a guru in his own right.”
The disciple was ready to risk his life and suffer damnation if he could give liberation for many people. We have so many examples of saints who just ignored their life and comforts for brining solace to their brothers and sisters.
Secondly as a true disciple of Jesus we should have the Heart of a Servant.
True greatness begins with humility. The Bible tells us that to be great, we must serve others. And humility is at the centre of the heart of a servant. We must decrease so that Christ’s character may increase in us.
Once George Washington was riding near Washington City with a group of friends and they came to a place where they had to leap over a wall.
In the process one horse knocked off a number of the stones from the wall.
Washington said, “We better replace them.” 
His friends told, “Oh, let the farmer do it.”
But Washington didn’t feel right about that.
When the riding party was over, he went back the way they came.
He found the wall and dismounted. Then he carefully replaced each of the stones.
His riding companion saw what he did and said, “You’re too big to do that.”
His only response was, “On the contrary, I am the right size.”
Thirdly as disciple of Jesus we should be able to live Morally Pure.
Because God is a good Father, He invites us to share in His character. As followers of Jesus, we have been forgiven and made holy. We all avoid public sins. That is only for fear of the public opinion. Just to keep our good names in the society. But as disciples of Jesus we are bound keep ourselves morally pure. It is difficult as it is a realm not seen by anyone other than we ourselves.
Another characteristic of the true disciple of Jesus is to be Evangelistically Bold
When we receive Christ, His Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. Many people in the world are searching. They need someone who’s bold enough to share their faith and show them the love of the Father. Now is the time to stand out and be different — to share the great news about Jesus!
The Apostles set examples before us. They stood before the Authorities and the crowd and proclaimed the message of Jesus. Through the centuries martyrs and saints followed this tradition. Looking at us all the people come into contact with us should be able to say, “Look how much they love each other”, our life should be an inspiration and challenge for others to follow Jesus.