Choose Wholehearted Discipleship

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

Every human person in today’s world seeks to find meaning to his or her life.  Every human person has a purpose to fulfill in life. All have a specific task and are individually called by God for a task or a mission. The call that God gives is personal. There is the constant search for God in the heart of every person.  There is a need for quietness and withdrawal to recognize the presence of God in our life.

In the first reading, the Prophet Elijah finds a candidate who is totally committed to God to succeed him. Elijah finds Elisha his successor not in the schools of the prophets but in the fields, not reading, nor praying, nor sacrificing, but ploughing a field.  But the prophet makes it clear that the call is not human but from God himself. He receives the mantles from Elijah which represents the personality of the owner and indicates the official clothes of the Prophet with a divine call.  He is chosen to care for the people of God.

In the second reading of today, Paul teaches a lesson to the Gentile converts that they must not give any attention to false teaching. Jesus Christ has come to free them from slavery to the Old Law and remove from them the burden of religious legalism. They are to practice the freedom that comes from the Spirit. This freedom will make them slaves of one another in love.

The opening passage of the Gospel of today begins with the journey of Jesus and his disciples from Galilee to Jerusalem, where his mission on earth was to end. Luke tells us that he was determined. Jesus, in walking toward Jerusalem, was committed to embracing his sufferings and cross.  He was on his way to the triumph of his glory throughout all his life here on earth. He proclaimed his glorification on the cross and his triumph at the end times. His purpose of coming into this world was to proclaim the Kingdom of God.

In the second part of the Gospel, “someone said to Jesus, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’” Jesus warns this individual that his life is the life of an itinerant preacher who is always on the road. He puts it in these words: “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Luke does not tell us if this person followed Jesus or not.

Later Jesus said to someone else: “Follow me.” However, this individual told Jesus that he had to go and bury his father. In reply, Jesus said to him: “Let the dead bury their dead. Go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” Then a third person said to Jesus: “I will follow you. However, first I need to go and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus looked directly at this person and said: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus desires that his disciples be wholehearted in their commitment to him and his mission. Yes, we will have family, children, friends and commitments. However, our primary commitment needs to be to Jesus. This is all He asks of us. Most likely, this call is a great challenge for us. After all, our families and responsibilities are extremely important and rightly so. However, Jesus knows that if our primary commitment is to Him, most likely our day will be filled with graces. “We will find the meaning and purpose of our life. We will find our mission.” It is our choice!

One Response to “Choose Wholehearted Discipleship”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    Yes. When Jesus is #1, everything else falls into place.

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