Wednesday, 26th Week in Ordinary Time
NOT YET… LATER ON
Fr. Nelson Orqueta

We can summarize today’s gospel passage in these words:
“Lord, I will follow you, but not now… not yet… later on.”
Think of the times when you’ve said almost the same thing.
“Lord, I will follow you by doing your will… But not yet…
Let me first enjoy doing what I want and what I like.”
“Lord, I will follow you by serving your Church… But that will be later…
Let me first work for the financial security of my family.”
“Lord, I will follow you by renouncing my old, selfish ways… But not now…
Let me first prepare myself in leaving my comfort zone.”
 
Today’s gospel is about the things that are required of Jesus’ followers.
In responding to three individuals who offer to become his disciples,
Jesus talks about three conditions.
 
First, not having a place to lay one’s head.
In other words, a willingness to make sacrifices with little concern for personal comfort.
 
Second, leaving the dead to bury their dead, even in one’s own family.
In other words, giving the kingdom of God absolute priority,
especially when conflicts of interest arise.
 
Third, putting one’s hand to the plow without looking back.
In other words, a disciple must make an unswerving commitment to his mission.
 
We would like to follow Jesus… however, we also say:
“Lord, I will follow you, but not now… not yet… later on.”
 
Perhaps, what’s stopping or hindering us from following Jesus more freely and more closely could be our family, our studies, our job, our career, our business, our loyalty to one person, etc. These things are good in themselves.
 
But the question is: Are they good enough to replace Jesus in our lives?
Are they good enough to let them stop us from following Jesus?
 
Our call to discipleship demands that we make difficult choices –
not always between good and evil, but between the good and the best;
not always without ambiguity, but with the risk of faith.
 
The message of today’s gospel for us is very clear and simple: 
to follow Christ is to follow him unconditionally and unreservedly.
 
We’re being reminded that we cannot afford to lose perspective by having a wrong sense of values.
 
We cannot allow anybody or anything to stand in the way of a wholehearted following and service of God.
 
We cannot allow our family concerns to take the front seatbefore  responding to the urgent call of the kingdom of God.
 
Jesus will not accept a second place in our lives.
 
He will be first or nothing… it is all for Jesus or nothing at all!

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