“But he replied.…”
How often do I want to respond to a new or deeper invitation from the Lord to follow him but feel that something holds me back? Maybe he wants me to follow him in greater humility, or through a more constant practice of patience. Maybe he is asking me to let go of the anxiety that can make me try to control everything, or to let go of a bad habit that impedes a more vital relationship with him. I battle with the voices that say: “I want to, but not yet.” “Yes, but I’ve got some things pending.” “Thanks for the invitation, but I need to think about it more.”
Luke presents us with Jesus’ personal invitation to follow him today, now! Jesus doesn’t talk around his demands, but clearly tells us what discipleship will entail: living with detachment, insecurity, and the readiness for a total giving of ourselves for the sake of the kingdom. It’s a large task. It’s a call that demands living as Jesus did, in total dependence on the Father and in a constant readiness to go where he leads (see Mt 8:18–22).
Getting in touch with our “excuses,” with the deeper reasons for holding back—such as anxiety, fear, or an exaggerated sense of responsibility—allows us to humbly place ourselves before the Lord. Then he can take our feelings and transform them into the deeper love and courage we need to step out in faith and follow where he is calling us. Otherwise our putting things off today can slowly become a lifetime of procrastination. We may end up missing out on the wonderful gifts that God is offering us through a deeper relationship with him. Has the Lord invited me to do something recently to which I have responded, “Yes Lord, but …”?
Jesus, help me to recognize the beauty of your call to follow you more closely today. You may ask me to let go of things that give me comfort, pleasure, or a sense of self-satisfaction. You might invite me to relinquish a bit of my self-sufficiency and accept my need for help from you and from those around me. You might invite me to step out of my comfort zone and into situations where I can witness to you and to the Gospel. Help me accept the initial hesitation and the tug to put off my response, but then help me turn to you for strength and courage. I want to respond with a wholehearted and trust-filled “yes” so that I can grow in my relationship with you!
Here I am, Lord. Send me! (see Is 6:8).
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 160–161). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.