Firstly I would like to focus on the story of a catholic woman who fell in love with a Muslim man. It was great love. At least she said so. However there was an issue, the man said that he couldn't marry her until she converted to Islam. The woman was saying: " I love him so much. He loves me too. We have been created for each other. Can God who is love be upset with me giving myself to love? I believe God is going to be so happy seeing my happiness."
My dear friends of Christ.
Jesus whom we hear this Sunday doesn't hit the natural bonds and relationship. He doesn't change the fourth commandment about honoring our parents either. But Jesus does hit the bonds and relationships that stand between him and us. It isn't just theoretical reflection but it must have been Jesus' answer to a dilemma one of his followers had. We can imagine Our Lord walking, surrounded by people. He knew them, not just their names but their struggles and problems as well. What we hear this Sunday from Christ, must have been a reaction to a situation when a follower was torn between Christ and his family or friends, who tried to lead him away from the Teacher from Nazareth. Jesus says: "If there are people who stand on your way to Salvation, who try to pull you away from it it is wrong. You need to free yourself from these bonds and relationships because if your human relationships don't help you to be a better disciple of mine leave them."
Again it is not encouragement for those who want to excuse themselves from building solid and healthy relationships but it is a prove of how well Christ knows what is happening in human interior and he offers a diagnosis of the problem with firmness and truth.
Maybe among us there are people who need to stand up to their relatives and friends who are an obstacle for them on the way to salvation. If you see such a case in your life and if you find it difficult to change it you can be sure that today's Gospel is addressed to you as Jesus knows what your heart hides. It doesn't matter how comfortable and safe you feel now. It is high time to leave this cosy environment an to take up the cross of challenge, unknown and loneliness in order to follow Jesus. He is the person with whom we must build a relationship.
Coming back to the woman from the story we can only hope that she realized that giving up on Christ wasn't to help her find love and happiness.