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An Apocryphal Parable about Vocation

At this point, large crowds were traveling with Jesus. He sighed and turned around to face them. He saw on their faces eager anticipation. They wanted to follow and they wanted to serve God, but they did not know what it meant to follow him. They did not know what it meant to follow him in this moment. He pursed his lips and said, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” He paused as the shock registered on their faces. Many of them looked to their right where they saw their mother and to their left where they saw their brother. Confused, they listened. “Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” He continued, but they could not hear him clearly because many turned around to leave.  The words that stuck out first in their minds were the first, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate …” They returned home and took care of their families, supported their neighbors, and loved all who were near them and far from them. In the end, Jesus turned around to face them — and he was proud.

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