“Follow me,” Jesus calls out in today’s Gospel.  He summons us as well, and his call is challenging. Being a disciple means putting aside one’s own personal concerns. It also means following Jesus no matter how difficult.  Up until now, Jesus spent his time preaching, teaching, and healing around Galilee.  But now Jesus has set off for Jerusalem.  Though the disciples don’t realize it, he has embarked on the journey that leads to the cross.  Let us pray for the strength and courage to continue to follow our Lord, no matter the cost, realizing that our reward is the kingdom of God.


The Gospel tells how three individuals wanted to follow Jesus and learn more about God. Far from urging them to join his group, Jesus seemed rather to discourage them. The first was told to count the cost of joining, as he would have no fixed abode. The next answer seems quite harsh. “Let the [spiritually] dead bury their dead.” Perhaps the man’s father was still alive, and an eldest son could not leave home until after his father’s death. But if we are faced with a radical option and do not decide at once, we are less likely to do so later. What Jesus said to the third man was equally challenging: “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” The wooden plough could break if it struck a large stone; so, the ploughman had to watch the ground ahead at all times. The commitment of a disciple to following Christ should be equally focused.

All through life, God is also calling us, whether we respond or not, even as he called Peter from his fishing, Matthew from his tax office, Elisha from his farm. But how many choose to answer God’s call? Jesus once observed that “Many are called but few are chosen” (Mt 22:14). On the other hand, we have his words of warm encouragement, “Fear not little flock, for it has pleased the Father to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:32).

As a foundation for any vocation to service in the church is the belief that God “so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). This reassures us of the unconditional love on God’s part for each and … MORE


Gospel: Luke 9:51-62

“Jesus resolutely takes the road to Jerusalem, calling others to follow him

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

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