“Follow Me”

Challenge: Make three small sacrifices for Christ today.
by Father Steven Liscinsky, LC | Source: Catholic.net

June 30, 2008
Monday of Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 8: 18-22
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."And 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." Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are present within me. Let me feel your presence in my heart and soul. I want to live this day close to you and see everything through the prism of faith. I want to put my trust and confidence in you. You will grant me all the graces I need today. All I have to do is ask. I want to love you with all my heart, especially in charity, giving myself to all I meet today so that I can communicate your love to them. Mary, accompany me in this meditation and intercede for me, so that God will grant me what I need to be a better follower of Christ and an apostle of his Kingdom.

Petition: Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. Give me the strength to accept whatever you ask of me.

1. Decide to Follow Christ. The scribe approached Jesus with his decision already made. We often find ourselves indecisive before Christ. We want to do what he asks of us, but we waver in our decision. We know that a firm decision takes a lot of willpower. It is going to demand sacrifice. Are we willing to go as far as Christ wants us to go? When I turn to Christ in prayer, do I go with a decision to do what I want, in spite of what he might ask of me, or rather to do what he wants, regardless of what it might cost me?

2. No Matter What the Cost. Jesus never tells us that following him is easy. He told his contemporaries that they would have to take up the cross to follow him. Those were hard words: For them the cross was not just a symbol, but a reality they witnessed daily. Their fellow citizens were nailed to crosses by the Roman occupiers, often for political motives. They knew the pain it entailed. It left no doubt in their minds that following Christ could be costly.

3. Even Giving Up What Is Dearest to Us. A young disciple wants to follow Christ, but first he wants to look after his elderly father. Christ tells him no. Is Christ abrogating the fourth commandment? Certainly not. He shows that true love is not attachment, which is always selfish. True love is wanting the best for the ones we love. Physical separation does not break the bonds of love, which know no bounds. What could satisfy this father more than knowing that his son is serving the Lord? Is there anything better the son could do?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to follow you. I know that it will not be easy, because doing your will is never easy. In the Garden of Gethsemane you sweated blood in your agony over accepting the Father’s will. In this way you have shown me the true depth of love. If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not love. Lord, help me overcome my fear of the pain of love.

Resolution: I will make three small sacrifices for Christ today.

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