Today’s Gospel: Matthew 8, 18-22
It seems as though Jesus has this habit of teaching, healing, and then escaping up a mountain or into a boat. In today’s Gospel, he is escaping into a boat after healing Simon’s mother-in-law, casting out demons, and healing all who were sick.
It’s understandable that Jesus just needs a break, a little time to himself, perhaps just some time away with his closest friends. However, he may also be testing those who want to follow him. He may be withdrawing from them to see who will step out in faith. The crowds were always following him, but a disciple must follow him on a completely different level.
I can imagine Jesus just stepping off of the boat on the other side when the Scribe and other disciple come running up to him out of breath. I can imagine them standing before him, panting, saying, “You aren’t going to shake us that easily, Jesus.”
In times of darkness and spiritual dryness we are often tempted to think that Jesus has left us because he doesn’t love us. However, what may truly be happening is that he has gone “over to the other side” to see if we’ll follow.
Perhaps, in an effort to help us grow, he is challenging us to separate ourselves from the crowd. Will we follow him even when the creature comforts of this world are lacking? Will we continue to follow when the cares of the world are weighing upon us? Let’s answer, “You can’t shake me that easily Jesus. I will follow you wherever you go!”
How can I follow Jesus today as a disciple and not merely one of the crowd? How can I help others follow Jesus more closely?
Lord Jesus, give me the strength to separate myself from the crowd, step out in faith, and follow you this day! Help me to be a true disciple!
Copyright 2016 James M. Hahn
James M. Hahn and his family operate Real Life Rosary, a website dedicated to helping others discover their life within the mysteries of the rosary. He is the author of Rosary Meditations for Real Life, A Visit to Church, and other books. In his spare time, James like to play with his 7 kids, hike, and homebrew.