EWTN Catholic Q&A
Luke 14:26
Question from Ed on 11-20-2012:

How should I understand this passage? Thank you.

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-21-2012:

Certainly Jesus did not literally intend that we hate our parents, as is evident by the fact that it would be contrary to a God given commandment and also inconsistent with His own command to love enemies. This is Hebrew convention for emphasis, which they commonly used instead of comparative and superlative word forms. Meaning is that you must love God above all, including those we love most here, even to point of leaving loved ones--martyrdom, vocational calling-or letting them leave us-apostasy, etc. see how effective His words are, as evident by how many are bewildered by them.

Thanks, Ed

Ather Echert