September 28, 2016
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.” (Luke 9:57-62)
Today’s Gospel reminds us that opting for the right path, freely choosing to do good, can sometimes be challenging. Jesus was approached by several people who had been listening intently to what He had to say. They asked Jesus if they could follow Him, if they could join Him on His journey.
He responded, “…the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” In other words, “Do you know what you are getting into? Are you prepared to do what it takes? To put aside your own wants and needs?”
Jesus’ response might have sounded harsh, but it painted a true picture of what following Him would entail.
One of the men he was speaking to accepted the challenge. The man said he was willing to accept the hardships that come with following Jesus. Then he added, “But my father just died, let me go and bury him first, then I will follow you.”
Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
He does not affirm the man for his decision to follow Him, or show compassion by allowing him time to bury his father. Instead he tells the man, “If you’re going to follow me, it must be now.”
Many heard Jesus speak, but only a few freely chose to approach Jesus and ask to follow Him. This showed courage. They chose the right path. There is no more important work than the work of Jesus. It takes commitment; but a commitment with no excuses.
Jesus was asking them, “Are you in? Or are you out?”
Jesus asks us that same question: Are we in? There is a sense of urgency in His question. He needs our help now more than ever. Do we choose to take on the important work of Jesus Christ even when it is not convenient?
Only a few step forward, and those that do realize it will mean hardship and sacrifice. It will take courage. In addressing this challenge, Pope Francis said, “Go on! Be courageous and go against the tide…and be proud of doing it!”