Dear Followers of the Christ,
We listen to Luke 9:51-62 this Sunday in Ordinary Time. We begin a long series of passages this summer that invites us to follow Jesus. In these past months, we have celebrated the foundations of our faith in his passion, death, and resurrection. Now it is time to leave the comfort of our reflections and offer our faith and service to God and to the world.
In this passage, we hear from some of the followers of Jesus excuses not to follow him. I will follow you, Lord, but first, let me bury my father or say goodbye to my family. Jesus claims an immediacy to the call to follow. He wants us all to pull our hands away from the plow and give our very selves to him, completely and with love.
Perhaps this summer may be a time to evaluate our faith and our own call to follow Jesus. I invite you to find some time to pray, reflect, and sort through your life in a different way. Perhaps a garden or path in the mountains to walk or stroll or to simply enjoy is a good place for you. Perhaps rising earlier in the morning to hear the whispers of birds, to feel the morning air, or simply enjoy the quiet will bring you to prayer. Listening to soft music in a familiar chair or on a different rock in the backyard may slow you down. Whatever it takes, listen to scriptures this summer and open yourself to the beauty of God’s love for you. Ask God to help you know how to follow him.
What is your life about? What is your mission as a Christian? These are just two questions I ask you to reflect upon in the summer days. Perhaps you can write or journal your way into prayer. Perhaps, even when you are genuinely busy, you can pray with the name of Jesus. There are all kinds of excuses not to pray, not to follow Jesus Christ. However, your heart depends on it. Your relationships depend on it. Your family depends on you knowing who you are in the world, and the purpose God has given you. You are part of God’s plan on earth, so begin to pray and act like it.
Here are some other questions to consider:
Jesus, how are you calling me into a deeper love of life when I feel so alone?
Jesus, how do I serve when I feel so ill-equipped to do so?
Jesus, I really don’t know how to serve you. Will you show me the way to help others?
Jesus, I feel empty when I pray. Will you show me your love and my purpose?
Jesus, how do I follow you in the center of so much suffering in our world?
Jesus, how do I continue to follow you? What are you asking of me?
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.”
God give you peace.
Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor