Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"God isn't looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him"

Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves with out wondering. -Saint Augustine

Gospel text (Lk 9,57-62):
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey, someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
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."

If God called you to leave everything right now, like he did in today’s Gospel, could you truly drop everything and go? I know that the right response is, “Oh yes! Of course!” but have you ever really, truly thought about it? I know that I would ask God, " Can my family come with me, or at least can I go say goodbye to them " ? or "Can we postpone this until next week "? Why is it so hard for us to drop everything and follow the Lord?

Jesus flat out tells us about the personal costs that it would require to follow him. It requires sacrifice to follow the Lord, the sacrifice of all of our material possessions and creature comforts. Jesus knows this, but he appeals to our heart to detach from material goods and to not hold back. This is necessary to follow the Lord. We can’t be tied down to multiple things when our full attention should be on following his will. But, in today’s society, we are all not necessarily called to give up everything to spiritually follow Jesus. However, we need to give up anything that may hold us back from doing God's will. We have to look forward, and not look back at everything we leave behind.

Today, let us examine ourselves in terms of the challenges we face and our relationship with God. How is Jesus inviting us to respond? Let's ask for the graces to respond freely - with hope and confident trust - each day, in the concrete situations in which we find ourselves. Sometimes the call will be in terms of how quickly and lovingly we respond to the people closest to us. Sometimes we will be asked to participate, pitch in, contribute in some way to building a community of people positively responding to those in need.

We are all called to think about what we would do if God called us to drop everything and follow him. Would we sit in suffering thinking about all that we may lose and all the sacrifices we would have to make? Or would we full heartedly follow him? Today is all about putting trust in the Lord even during the most difficult times. We are called to ask 'can I put my full trust in him?'

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