Following Jesus

Oct 1, 2014 | [post_view] Views

Following Jesus

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church



First Reading: JB 9:1-12, 14-16

Responsorial Psalm: PS 88:10BC-11, 12-13, 14-15

Gospel: LK 9:57-62



Chapter 9 in the Gospel of St. Luke begins and ends with discipleship,with following Jesus. It started with Jesus summoning the twelve disciples giving them authority to expel demons, to cure diseases and to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

Today’s passage speaks about the would-be-followers of Jesus. There are three of them who expressed their honest intention to follow Jesus. The first after knowing that Jesus does not offer comfort even at sleep did not say anything. He was probably dumbfounded when Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” The Gospel is silent about his decision. We can just surmise that he decided not to. The second and the third one had to deal with the urgency of following Jesus. They could not believe what they just heard. For them, Jesus was inconsiderate about their family concerns.

And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Following Jesus demands a lot of courage to leave everything behind right at the moment of the call. The Twelve, when they were called by Jesus to follow Him, left their livelihood, their friends and their family behind immediately without any hesitation. They did not look behind. Instead they look ahead to the one they were about to follow.

God continues to call more disciples today. He wants to add more members to the team whom He would train and send in order to continue spreading His love in the world. We use to hear the phrase, “many are called but few are chosen.” Many who are called did not have what it takes to follow Jesus. Like to the two in the Gospel, they have so many reasons to delay their response. They may say, “I will serve you Lord only after my retirement,” “I will have more time with you Lord when I get old.” This is probably the reason why there are more old people in Church than young. The hard truth is that we want God to take the back seat. But when the world calls us, even just a hint, we respond right away. We easily follow worldly bidding. Following Jesus is of lesser priority.

Those who are chosen are only those who respond willingly and immediately.  They are the ones who are empowered with God’s blessings. For them, following Jesus is the ultimate true joy, a joy the world can never give.

God is calling you today. Will you have reasons too to delay your response or will you instead follow Jesus immediately?


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