Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/30/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 457. Wed. of 26th week. Nehemiah 2:1-8. Psalm
137:1-2.3.4-5.6. Luke 9:57-62.
It is rather easy to say with the three men in today’s Gospel, “I will
follow you wherever you go.” Jesus looks at them and then gives each of
them some strong words that show them it is not that easy to really follow
him all the way. Already he has told his disciples three times what will be
involved in following him and they too are pretty much the same as the
three in making bold statements. But, as we say today, we must not only
talk the talk but walk the walk and walk the talk. A flurry of excuses are
easily discovered in those making the above statement or those who say it
and then falter along the way with doubts, betrayal, denials, and just
running away from where Jesus would take them. We are thinking of the
apostles who did this.
In John 1:35-51 we have the above response taken and partially lived up to
by Peter, Andrew, the Beloved Disciple and Philip and Nathaniel. Yet as
the journey continues things start to happen on the way and then burst upon
Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem. An immediate yes to the Lord is no assurance
it will continue like that of Mary the Mother of Jesus’ “yes.” In fact, we
only hear of the Beloved Disciple being present as Jesus completes the call
he received upon coming into this world. It is finished. Our is not and
must be renewed each day.
Jesus is showing us how difficult it is to follow him and persevere to the
very end. To embrace the Paschal Mysteries involved in this following is
no easy task. It is difficult to make a permanent commitment these days and
within our fast and furious culture which is self-seeking and greedy. To
take up the cross daily is what Jesus is asking of us if we are to confront
the cultural negatives with a culture of life. We are called to unite
ourselves to Christ in our sufferings and pains and our daily burdens.
Intentionality is necessary if we are to succeed this day. Jesus tells
sufficient for the day is what is in front including the evils to be
overcome.Tomorrow will bring its crosses of a different kind.
The call of Jesus takes place daily for each of us no matter whether we are
married, single, vowed religious, or on the verge of saying yes to one of
these vocations. Fr. Karris in his commentary on Luke says this of our
present Gospel text: “Following Jesus is a solemn commitment which forces
us to reorder all our other duties. the sharpness of Jesus’ sayings jars us
into seriously weighing our desire to follow him on his way. How practical
is it to espouse Jesus’ method of clarification and view one’s myriad
duties and obligations in the light of the one value of following
him?” (Karris, Invitation to Luke, page 130). Amen.