In his classic, Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes,
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life,…and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,…to rout all that was not life,…to reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it….; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”
Thoreau is speaking, in his own way, about discipleship – the practice of living deliberately. In last week’s gospel Jesus sent the apostles out into the world to “proclaim the good news,” to set people free to “live deep and suck all the marrow out of life.” In this week’s reading we discover that this kind of life, living deliberately, will mean an end to life as we knew it, relationships as dear as family. Yet, even as we lose the lives we have known we are promised that what we find will be beyond sublime. It will be heaven.