Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society. - St. Francis of Assisi ___________________

Job 9:1-13, 14-16

Job spoke to his friends.

Indeed, I know it is as you say:
how can man be in the right against God?
If any were so rash as to challenge him for reasons,
one in a thousand would be more than they could answer.
His heart is wise, and his strength is great:
who then can successfully defy him?
He moves the mountains, though they do not know it:
he throws them down when he is angry.
He shakes the earth, and moves it from its place,
making all its pillars tremble.
The sun, at his command, forbears to rise,
and on the stars he set a seal.
He and no other stretched out the skies,
and trampled the Sea’s tall waves.
The Bear, Orion too, are of his making,
the Pleiades and the Mansions of the South.
The words are great; beyond all reckoning,
his marvels, past all counting.
Were he to pass me, I should not see him,
nor detect his stealthy movement.
Were he to snatch a prize, who could prevent him,
or dare to say, ‘What are you doing?’
How dare I plead my cause, then,
or choose arguments against him?
Suppose I am in the right, what use is my defence?
For he whom I must sue is judge as well.
If he deigned to answer my citation,
could I be sure that he would listen to my voice?

_____________________

Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Another to whom he said, “Follow me,” replied, “Let me go and bury my father first.” But he answered, “Leave the dead to bury the dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good bye to my people at home.” Jesus said to him, “Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
_____________________

Jesus seems to be rather harsh in today’s gospel reading. Why does he place so many conditions on his would-be disciples? But Jesus’ message for us today is given in what he said to the second one: “Your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God” and let nothing distract you from that.

Let not the lack of good residence nor the lack of wealth nor the lack of family prevent us from spreading the news of the kingdom of God, for some of us are called to give up all these for God’s greater glory.

St. Francis of Assisi was one good example. He was a wealthy young man poised to take over his family business. He was rich, lived in a beautiful house, wore fine garments, and was greatly loved by his family members. But when God called him for that particular mission specifically for him alone, he left all to follow Jesus.

God too calls each of us to particular missions in our own lives, and all will involve some sacrifice on our part. Some of us are called to leave more than others, but none of us are called to leave more than we can. At the same time, God’s call to us is never unreasonable. There is always a good reason why he calls us and he invites us to use our reason and faith together to discern why we should respond to his call. Anyone who does not reason out properly why he wants to follow Jesus is probably not ready to follow him.

The gospel reading doesn’t say whether or not these would-be disciples eventually accepted Jesus’ words and followed him, or left to do those things that they asked to do. It leaves the question open, just as the question is left open for us to respond.
____________________

Prayer:
Dear Jesus, we ask for the grace to listen to how you are calling us to follow you today. We also ask for the grace to respond positively, at the same time, knowing fully well what is it you ask us to leave behind to follow you, so that we might be able to make a proper and informed choice to love you and to follow you.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: Those who have left all to follow Jesus.

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