Prayer: O Jesus, let me not hold back my commitment to you.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)
This gospel begins Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, a serious undertaking that will result in his death. Many are attracted to Jesus and want to follow him. He invites many to do so but he has to warn them of the costs of being his disciple. Mark gives three examples of an inadequate response.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
As Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, a man cried out, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have dens. The birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead. You go and preach the Kingdom of God.”
Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go home and say farewell to my family.” Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back, is ready for the Kingdom of God.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jesus is on a journey. There is no time to waste. All three men must decide quickly.
- Preaching the Kingdom demands a minimum of material comforts and provides no stable place to lay your head. The disciple must accept that commitment.
- “Burying the dead” means waiting years until the person dies. Preaching the Kingdom will not wait. People must hear the news immediately.
- A person who plows a field and looks back will do a poor job. The Kingdom demands all of our attention.
- O child of God, Jesus is calling you and you are finding multiple delays. Cut the strings. Jesus’ call is the opportunity of your lifetime.
- Do not forget. Jesus moves quickly – like the days of your life which slip by so unnoticed.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, if you say, “Come, follow me”, I will follow.
- I will put your Kingdom above all my other desires.
- Jesus, if I look back, I will hesitate. If I hesitate, I will doubt.
- If I doubt, then I will not follow you. If I do not follow you, I will lose everything.
- O Jesus, your Kingdom is at hand and your call is now.
- I will not fear the radical demands of Jesus’ Kingdom.
- I will cherish his words, “Come, follow me.”
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
No one who looks back is ready for the Kingdom of God.