In our gospel reading today we hear the apostles commit to a life of discipleship as they respond ‘Yes, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus reminds them and us that to follow him, to spread the Good News, to preach and teach in Jesus’ name is not all that easy! The life of a follower of Christ has many rewards, but it also requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice on our part. Jesus calls us to give up a lot when we say ‘Yes’.!
We live in a world that stresses individualism and focuses on the material things of life. While having nice things and experiencing the ‘good life’ is nice at times, it does not last. It’s not wrong to enjoy the finer things in life, except when those ‘things’ seem to become our main purpose for living. There are many generous people who share their abundance with those who have so little. They share time, talent and treasure and do so willingly and graciously. We all have something to give, a way to make life better for those in need. This is what it means to ‘follow Jesus wherever he goes’!
When I retired two years ago after forty plus years serving in pastoral ministry, I wasn’t sure where I was being called or what I was being called to do in retirement! To be honest, I still don’t exactly have a set plan! What I am realizing slowly is that I don’t have to have each day planned out because the person I said YES to follow holds the agenda! My role is not to look back at what was, but instead to focus on what is and what will be and trust all will be well! It is good for us to reflect on the closing words of the gospel message today as Jesus tells us
“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks back to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
May we continue to spread the message of the Kingdom of God with perseverance and patience and an openness to following God’s agenda for our lives! Amen.
Theresa Secord is a retired Pastoral Associate from St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.