ProLifeCorner- “And to another [Jesus] said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
And Jesus said to one, “Follow me.” And he replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I check the day’s market reports.”
But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your concern for the poor and destitute does not match your concern for your portfolio.
Jesus said to another, “Follow me!”
And she replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I meet with my accountant to set-up my 401-K.”
But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your eternal life’s vision cannot see beyond the age of retirement.”
Jesus said to the teenager, “Follow me.”
And the teen replied, “I will follow you, Lord, as soon as I get back from soccer practice, meeting my friends at the mall, and updating my Facebook page.”
But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if it is just another something on your schedule.”
Jesus said to the mom and dad, “Follow me.”
And the parents said, “We will follow you, Lord, as soon as we are assured that our child is loved and cared for.”
But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciples until you realize that to love and care for your child is to be my disciple.”
Today we hear Jesus calling disciples from St. Luke’s gospel. Our Lord spells out very clearly what is involved in following Him. Being a Christian is not an easy or a comfortable affair: it calls for self-denial and for putting God before everything else.
In today’s gospel we hear the case of the man who wanted to follow Christ, but on one condition—that he be allowed to say goodbye to his family. Our Lord, seeing that he is rather undecided, gives Him an answer which applies to all of us, for we have all received a calling to follow Christ and we have to try not to receive this grace in vain. We receive the grace of God in vain, when we receive it at the gate of our heart, and do not let it enter our heart. We receive it without receiving it, that is, we receive it without fruit, since there is no advantage in experiencing the inspiration if we do not accept it.
It also sometimes happens that being inspired to do much we consent not to the whole inspiration but only to some part of it, as did those good people in the Gospel, who upon the inspiration which our Lord gave them to follow Him wished to make reservations, the one to go first and bury his father, the other to go to take leave of his people.
My brothers and sister in Christ, if today’s Gospel was to take place here and now, we would probably hear the responses we heard in my opening story in answer to Jesus’ call to follow Him.
Consciously or unconsciously, we let so many agendas, interests and activities monopolize the focus of our lives; Jesus’ call to discipleship, however, demands a total, focused commitment to the Gospel which always begins with and involves and affects every moment, every decision, and every relationship of our lives. To “follow” Jesus is to see that the true joy and meaning of God’s gift of this life of ours is found in the hard but often hidden work of making the reign of God a reality in our ordinary everyday lives.
Mary, Virgin most Faithful, pray for us!
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C
Sunday, June 26th 2016