Letting go of some of the beautiful things in life for Jesus leads to abundance


There was an ancient story about a hermit traveling through the Judean desert in Palestine. While on his way, he ran out of water. He felt extraordinarily thirsty and became dizzy, so it was very difficult for him to walk. He realized that with the extreme heat, he would not survive if he could not find water to drink.

While he continued to walk, he came across a shed. Inside, he found a jar of water beside a pump with a short note that says, “Take the jug of water and use it to prime the pump. You will have all the water you need.”

Should he follow what the note says, or should he drink the water in the jar as he is dying of thirst? After all, there was no guarantee that the pump would work. He decided to take the jar of water and pour it into the pump. He moved the lever backward and forward, and nothing came out. He was a little worried and thought he had made the wrong move. His thirst became more intense. He heard a gentle gurgle as he struggled to move the lever continuously. After a few more attempts, a small amount of water began to flow. He was able to drink and fill his water bottles. He then refilled the jar and put the note back carefully beside it for the next traveler who might pass through the shed.

The hermit risked giving up the jar of water. But his freedom to risk brought him an abundance of water to drink.

This story may also shed light on Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel. Jesus understands that we will never be living as disciples if we dont find the freedom to risk and let go of some beautiful things in our lives. We will not be able to find the abundance of His grace.

Following Jesus does not necessarily lead to a break with one’s family. The reference that says “hating one’s families or relatives” is a Jewish idiom that uses hyperbole to indicate one’s preference. Disciples should love Jesus more than they love their family and, indeed, more than their own life. This phrase means that as a disciple, one will still be able to love his/her family. It indicates that the priority of our attention is our love for God, and it shows our willingness to sacrifice and risk good things in life in favor of responding to our call as disciples.

The way we live our ordinary lives is also a way to live like disciples. For example, every time parents send their children off to college or to have a family of their own, they let go of their physical proximity. In return, their children can also realize their calling in their lives. Children leave their homes and pursue their own lives even though it might be painful to leave their parents. We must also find the freedom to let go of some of our habits and ways of living for a more significant cause. It is hard to let go of good things in our lives, but there are times when it is necessary.

When we find the freedom to let go of those things, we must put them behind to better our lives and the lives of others which will draw us closer to God, God will take over, and He will lead us to a new life with an abundance of peace and joy.

Letting go of the good things in our lives seems like taking the last bit of water from the jar and using it to prime the pump, and it’s a risk we take. However, when we let go of the good things for God’s sake to find a deeper meaning in life, we can be assured of God’s constant support. When we are in the presence of Christ as His disciples, we experience the fullness of life. Jesus will fill our lives with abundant blessings in many ways.

by Father Dennis