Unconditional Discipleship


October 04, 2017
26th Week in
Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Neh 2:1-8
Gospel: Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another Jesus said, “Follow me.” But he answered, “Let me go back now, for first I want to bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said to him, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family.” And Jesus said to him, “Whoever has put his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

A repair shop had this notice posted at its entrance: “We repair anything. Just knock hard on the door (the doorbell is out of order).” Would anyone avail of the services of this repair shop? Commitment to repair anything is one thing; credibility is another!

In today’s Gospel reading three kinds of people committed themselves to Jesus. The first made the most radical commitment. He said, “Lord I will follow you wherever you go”. Was he aware of the consequences of this commitment he was making? Jesus tried to measure this awareness by reminding him that, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To people making the same radical commitment to the Lord today, the same reminder is in order. While Jesus promises the hundredfold reward to those who follow him, this is not to be the primary consideration of a disciple in making the commitment. Followers should cling to Jesus for higher motives.

The second and the third applicants attached their commitment to a suspensive condition. One promised to follow the Lord after burying his father, while the other after saying goodbye to his family. Many people do the same by postponing conversion until they are done with the world. These are the people who are most likely to panic in old age for lack of time to make up for wasted spiritual opportunities. It’s very hard to make a last-minute switch. Not everyone can be as lucky as the thief crucified with Jesus at Calvary who stole salvation just before he died. Most of those who postpone their conversion to their deathbed die damned.

Following Christ accepts no delay. The bell of death is not out of order. It rings when it is supposed to ring, and when it does only those with genuine commitments will enter the kingdom of heaven.– (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM.

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