Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Today’s Gospel offers us a challenge. Sandwiched between stories of Jesus’ miracles, the Gospel calls us to total commitment. It is almost as though Jesus is telling us: Look what I do! Does this not tell you who I am? Do you not know that you must make me and my message the biggest priority in your life? "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead."
For many of us, it is at this point that Christianity gets to be a bit more than we may have bargained for. We are caught up in a world of daily chores, worries and problems that take a toll on us. We are busy people. Our conversation with God might go something like this. Well, I want to follow you, but first I have to make one more sale at the business, or arrange my daughter’s wedding, or plan the Soccer team outing, or go to this concert or….. But Jesus says, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead."
It isn’t that the things we do are evil – in fact, many of them are acts of goodness and kindness. But Jesus says, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead." What does our commitment to Jesus and to Christianity mean in our lives?
Today is also the Feast day of St. Ireneaus. St. Ireneaus was an early Bishop and Church Father. Born in the Second Century, he did much to define Christianity and to refute heresies. St. Ireneaus as Bishop and Missionary, certainly must have led a busy life, filled with many demands, and yet, he found time to write several books that proved to set foundational beliefs of our Church. I wonder what he would have said to God about his commitment. Did he say, I want to follow you, but first I have to….or did he listen well to the message "Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead?" It seems as though he must indeed have set Jesus and Christianity as his top priority.
How deep is our commitment? Do we really put Jesus first in our lives? Do we listen to Jesus and "…let the dead bury their dead?"
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected]) is the interim administrator at Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.