Fr. Tom DeVries
St. Francis de Sales Seminary
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Glory to you O Lord.
When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village. As they 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 Jesus said, "Follow me." But he replied "Lord let me first go 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.” To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
If there's anything that our gospel reading emphasizes for us today is that to be a disciple of Christ, to be his follower demands a decision on our part. We do not simply fall into being a disciple of Christ, it must be something intentional. It's not by default, it takes a decision, it takes many decisions over the course of our whole life. In the gospel reading today there were 3 would-be followers of Jesus who joined him along this journey that he is on with his apostles and each one of them highlights the kind of decision that we are called to make as disciples as well. In each of these Jesus reminds not only his disciples then but he reminds us today that being a disciple asks of us a decision. But if we are honest we have to say that these kinds of decisions are difficult for us. In fact we wonder if we'll be ever able to make them. Whether we're old or whether we're young, we probably look at our lives and say "Have I really been able to be this kind of follower of Christ?" And that's why there is even one other prior decision that we have to make before being a disciple of Christ, that we don’t do this on our own, we do it through the grace and the power of God’s spirit within us. Jesus reminds us over and over again that we must remain in him. If we try to make these decisions on our own we will fail. So even before the decision to be a disciple it's the decision to allow the spirit of God to give us the power to be that disciple. We cannot do it alone. Perhaps all of us can make that decision, the decision that says Lord, with your power, I can make all of the other decisions to be your disciple. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
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