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Luke 9:57-62

The Word of God

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 a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

Luke 9:57-62
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In this passage from Luke, people admire Jesus and are inspired by him and so, “I will follow you,” they say. But they remind him that they have their own concerns to deal with first. Jesus asks them if they really know what it means to follow him.
    • We celebrate the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi today. His name lives on because he knew what the call of Jesus meant. He understood the inner voice that called him to rebuild the church. He left his wealth to become poor among the poor. He rebuilt a community that was in love with nature and shone with child-like simplicity.
    • Are we are inspired by how Francis totally handed himself over to the call of Jesus? When we die, we will have no choice but to do the same. But to what degree can we hand ourselves over to Jesus now? Can those practical concerns of family ties and work become a path rather than a block to following the Lord? Can we inspire others by the way we relate to them and the way we go about our daily tasks? How close can we get now, to being like Francis who followed Jesus?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • This is an example of the Hebrew way of teaching by exaggeration.
    • Is there a sense in which you could say to yourself that ‘having put your hand to the plough, you looked back’? What were the consequences? If you have never done this, what are the issues that tempt you to do so? Speak to the Lord about these.
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    • Enthusiasm and good desires are important, but not enough. Decision and implementation must follow. Am I someone who starts well, but if the going gets rough do I drop off? Is my following of Jesus conditional on things going smoothly? Jesus says that this will not do.
    • I rightly say, ‘Lord, I will follow you wherever you go’. This is a beautiful and loving promise. But left to myself I do not have the inner strength to keep it. I must ask Jesus for his strength day by day, and I start now.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus wants to help us to know ourselves, so he questions us, leading us to deeper self-knowledge. Even our excuses are opportunities to recognise what really attracts us and to bring them to Jesus.
    • We can remember that we have said ‘Yes’ in baptism - we may need to take care not to undermine ourselves by focussing on our unworthiness. Instead, we can remember who calls us in love.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus knows that I can have good intentions. But he reminds me that when I follow him there must be no conditions laid down. I must be prepared to share in his sorrows and joys of his ministry.
    • Jesus, deepen my understanding of what it means to make a permanent commitment to you. Lead my enthusiasm to new places of determination, new understandings, new orientations so that I may abide in you as I look forward to eternal life.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus invites others to follow him. But discipleship is a radical call which requires our whole-hearted response. It involves taking up one’s cross each day and following after him.
    • Contrast the total commitment of Jesus to doing his Father’s will with the pre-conditions and qualifications which we can make in response to his call to discipleship.
    • We all find Saint Francis so appealing because he was so capable of embodying the Gospel spirit. On his feast day I ask him to help me be more Christ like. I also pray for Pope Francis, who so often asks for our prayers.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Following Jesus does not necessarily mean perpetual self-denial and poverty – but we need to remain ready to travel lightly. Jesus calls us to lay aside our own priorities and expectations so that we might live and follow freely.
    • To pray with Sacred Space is to consider the importance of freedom as a preparation to hear the word of God. The people who approach Jesus are brought to see how they are tied down. I ask Jesus to show me how I might be more free.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Here we see three apparently generous individuals who are ready to become followers. Jesus, in each case, seems to make things more difficult for them. What is my reaction to this? What is Jesus up to? Does he sense a false note in their offer?
    • If Jesus is calling his followers to give without the slightest reservation or hesitation, is he perhaps telling us something about himself? A disciple can only learn to love God unconditionally when they have first experienced that kind of love from God.
    • Do I find myself hesitating or holding back in my following? How does this sit with the guarantee of God's unconditional love for me?