Would-Be Followers of Jesus

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday Of The Twenty-Sixth Week In Ordinary Time

 

Luke 9:57-62

An excuse or a response. What’s your reply to Jesus invitation?

Let us try to understand the response of the man whom Jesus invited and what Jesus did say to them.

The declaration of the first man who said “I will follow where ever you go”, it sounds like a perfect reply. If we were the audience around this scene we would expect Jesus to be very happy to welcome such an eager disciple but instead our Lord challenges him by informing him that the animals and birds will have more comfortable dwelling than the master he is willing to follow. When we hear a good sermon or talk or read about healings, miracles and blessings of other people we want the same for ourselves, But did we pay attention to the perseverance, faith and self-denial in the testimony or teaching. We see Priest and lay people living exemplary Christian life. We love and respect them for their response to the calling of Christ. But do we look at their smile and feel the warmth of their love even when things and people are not in favour with them. Do we see how they are socially, emotionally and physically bruised when they are walking on the narrow path? Are we willing to enter the narrow gate.

The second person is invited by Jesus, “Come follow me”. But he is a family man who has so many responsibilities. He has to honour them so he can only follow once he has catered to them all. A mother has to cook clean and take care of the house. A father goes to work everyday to make sure there is food on the table and the family has all that they need. A good son provides for his aging parents and takes care for all their mental and emotion needs. We can keep on adding to the list of a father, mother, daughter, son etc. But are they truly doing justice? Are they fulfilling all the needs of the people they love? The answer is No. When Jesus says let the dead bury, by the dead he is not telling the man to be disloyal to his parents but Jesus wants the man to look at his own dead spiritual status where he cant even see that his spiritual resurrection in Christ as being more important than the excuse to bury his father whenever he dies. Jesus saw his talents and gifts and insisted he follows our Lord, leaving his father behind so that this man can truly be the man God made him to be, to joyfully proclaim the coming of God’s Kingdom. Ask yourself is your work and family responsibilities an excuse to avoid serving God by working in His vineyard?

The third person is willing to follow Jesus but he only wants to say goodbye to his family and friends. what’s wrong with his request? My friends, we do not need the approval of the world to do the right things. If your life is based on the teachings of Christ then this world will be against you and try to prove you wrong. If we let other members of family and community influence us and choose what is pleasing them, how then can we commit to Jesus without reservation, we will be confusion without the help of the Holy Spirit. Lets live for Jesus through the Word of God and not the word of the world.

Lord, help me today and everyday of my life to say Yes to a Life of a disciple, who rejoices in serving in all circumstances of life and does not look behind for approval and support of the world. Amen.

 


Another Reflection

If you remember the Parable of the Soil/Sower, this is the stage of thorns, as illustrated by todays Gospel, very beautifully. If it is a covenant (marriage) we get into with Jesus, when we make Him Lord and Master of our Life, we must recognise the terms of marriage. And John Paul II puts it as, you presenting yourself  as a self-gift to your partner. That means you no longer worry about yourself and your needs, but you begin to worry about your partner and his needs. This implies that your partner is taking care of you and your needs and not worry about his own self and needs. This understanding is what we need to understand Christian discipleship. We need to surrender ourselves and our needs to Jesus/God, and know that He will take care of us and our needs. We need to take on the task of following Him and in His footsteps, here and now on Earth. What I am also saying is that Jesus is here and now, and He wants to travel with us, on our life’s journey, difficult as it is, but He wants to walk with us, as once Adam did. If we say this is only for the Bible and for the saints, then by unbelief we have locked Jesus out of the House of our lives…

Let’s pray then to Him, and ask the Holy Spirit also to open our hearts, minds, eyes and ears… To take away the unbelief and lie, that Jesus is far away and not with us. And that we notice His presence, around us, waiting to be let into our lives, that both of us can then take on the adventure that life is, together.

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