If you have been following the Gospel readings of the past week (Luke Ch.9), you would see that Luke has led us with Christ on a journey of preparation for discipleship. He begins with the sending out of the 72; follows this with the feeding of the five thousand; talks about the suffering Messiah; is Transfigured; and then concludes with an almost despondent interaction with the faithlessness of some of his followers. So, it is quite an eventful chapter.
The last few verses (9:57-62) are what we encounter today. Someone says to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Essentially, Jesus replies by asking if he knows the price of this declaration and whether or not he would be prepared to make that sacrifice.
Another person, in reply to Jesus’ invitation to follow him, asks that he may first bury his father. In all likelihood, it was not the actual burial that he was talking about since certainly he would probably be grieving with the family and not following Christ. What he actually wanted to do was take care of his estate; wrap up the finances. Jesus is saying that those issues are not important enough to stop him from making the commitment to discipleship.
Finally, a man asks that he may go and say farewell to his family. The response from Jesus highlights the price that needs to be paid in order to complete the task ahead.
Now, these responses from Christ might seem a bit harsh to us. And maybe they are! But we are continually challenged as Christians to choose between the things of this world and the things of the next. Knowing that Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life might not make this commitment any easier.
The only thing that will help us is if we strengthen our relationship with Jesus by spending time with Him in prayer and deepening the two-way communication with Him. Prayer is not just a shopping list or wish list. We need to listen to God too. Spend some time in silence with Jesus each day, maybe not even saying anything. Just deepen your love for all that God has given you in this life and the next – and the rest will be easy.
In closing, just a couple of notices:
A reminder that Fr James leaves today to drive down south for his annual leave. Please keep him in your prayers for a safe journey and a good rest.
Following up on the discontinuation of Masses which were introduced during the early lockdowns, there will no longer be Mass at Star of the Sea on Tuesdays at 9am and on Thursdays at 5.30pm. This is in addition to the cancellation of the Saturday morning Mass at the same venue.
God bless and stay safe. Dc Mike & the team.