It’s wrong to try to be Jesus’ «followers» without stopping to reflect on the concrete demands contained in following his footsteps, and on the energies we need to count on for doing that. Jesus never considered having thoughtless followers, but clear-headed and responsible persons.
The two images Jesus uses are very concrete. No one sets about «building a tower» without reflecting about how he ought to act in order to achieve finishing it. It would be a failure to start to «build» and not bring the started project to completion.
The Gospel that Jesus proposes is a way of «building» life. An ambitious project, capable of transforming our existence. That’s why it’s not possible to live according to the Gospel without stopping to reflect on the decision we must make at each moment.
The second example is also clear. No one thoughtlessly meets up with an enemy who comes to attack him with a much more powerful army, without first reflecting if that battle will end in victory or be a defeat. To follow Jesus is to meet up with adversaries of God’s reign and God’s justice. It’s not possible to fight for God’s reign in just any old way. We need clear-headedness, responsibility and decision.
In both examples the same thing is repeated: both persons «sit down» to reflect about the demands, the risks and the energies they can count on to bring their commitment to completion. According to Jesus, meditation, discussion, reflection will always be needed among his disciples. If not, the Christian project can remain unfinished.
It’s wrong to stifle dialog and stop discussion in Jesus’ Church. We need more than ever to deliberate together about the conversion his followers need to be about today. «Sit ourselves down» to think with what energies we need to build God’s reign in modern society. It we don’t, our evangelization will be an «unfinished tower».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf