Categories: Pastor's Desk

This weekend’s Gospel is certainly not for the faint of heart! It begins with Jesus “setting his face” to go to Jerusalem, beginning the journey towards his passion, death, and resurrection. On the way, he encounters several would-be disciples, each with a reason why they cannot follow Jesus right at that moment. These individuals have legitimate concerns: care for family members, burying the dead, attending to family business: all things that people have been commanded to do at other points in the Scriptures. And yet, Jesus’ response to each of the individuals seems harsh and dismissive, as if he does not want them to follow him.

However, like so many situations in the Gospels, there is more to this response than meets the eye. By responding to these would-be followers in this way, Jesus is reminding them of the demands that a commitment to discipleship will place on their lives. It is not enough to just profess with our words that we will follow Christ. If we are truly going to be disciples of Christ, our very lives must be conformed to his will and his purpose. This means letting go of our pre-conceived notions of how things “should” be, our how the world “should” work. It means letting go of worldly attachments, desires, and concerns, in order to be wholly focused on following and learning from Christ the Teacher.

We know from practical experience that this isn’t always easy. Human pride often gets in the way and keeps us from fully committing to the life that Christ calls us to live. We constantly want to cling to the past, to what is comfortable, and to what we think will bring us happiness. It takes real humility to accept that our ways are not God’s ways, and that only God can truly satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. As St. Augustine said: “You have made us for yourself, o God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

As we conclude this month of June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we are reminded of the example of humility that Jesus gave us in his passion, death, and resurrection. As we strive to follow that example of humility, we ask our Lord in our prayers to give us the strength to follow him more faithfully. May the Lord Jesus help us to not be consumed by worldly affairs, but to focus instead on the things that will lead us closer to him and prepare us for eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steven Huber, CSB