Scripture Reading: Luke 14:33
Let us begin today’s reflection with this song: “I have decided to follow Jesus (3x), no turning back (2x).” This song expresses our resolution to follow Jesus, to be his disciple. Dear friend, many are they who have made known their desires to become disciples of Jesus. However, only few ended up following the Master’s footsteps. Yet Jesus’ invitation to ‘come follow me’ is always delighting our souls. Matthew 19:16-24 tells us the encounter between the rich young man who had resolved to possess eternal life and Jesus, but went away sorrowful, after listening to the cost of disciplcship. He failed to understand and accept the logic and condition of following Jesus. In Verse 17 of Matthew 19, Peter declares; “We have left everything”, the disciples understood the logic and accepted the condition. The logic is ‘Jesus alone is enough’ and the condition is ‘give up everything’. In Matthew 13:44-46 Jesus illustrates this logic and condition of possessing the kingdom; “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Both the person and the merchant sold all they had (they gave up everything) in order to possess the treasure of heaven. Dear friend, heaven is a great treasure. To follow Jesus is a great joy with a great price, which the worldly minded cannot even see because it is hidden, for the evil one has blinded their eyes with the treasures of this world. Only the heart that yearns and searches for it can discover, understand and accept its worth; to be able to let everything else go away in order to possess it. Dear friends in Christ, ‘Christianity without discipleship is Christianity without Christ’, It is lip service. What it costs to be a disciple is also what it costs to be a saint, and ultimately the cost of eternal life. What is that thing that is obstructing you from declaring totally for Jesus? What is that which made you backslide from following Jesus? Why have you forsaken your first love? Why has the joy of your salvation disappeared? Today Jesus invites you to give up everything, to renounce the world, with its treasures, to detach yourself from everything in order to be attached only to Him.
St. Paul says in Romans 8:35, 38-39, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Hear the words of St. John Vianney “ You either belong wholly to the world or wholly to God. ” “None of you can be my disciple unless he gives up everything he has” (Luke 14:33).
- Begin your prayer with this chorus; ‘I surrender all (2X), All to thee, my Blessed Saviour, I surrender all.
- Pray this prayer: Lord Jesus, you asked for my hands that you might use it for your purpose. I gave them for a moment, and then withdrew them for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth to speak against injustice, I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused. You asked for my eyes to see poverty, I closed them for I did not want to see. You asked for my life that you might work through me; I gave small part that I might not get too involved. Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you only when it is convenient for me to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so, only with those who make it easy to do so. Lord, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument that I might take serious the meaning of your cross- in Jesus name-Amen.
- Declare this seven times and mean it: “Jesus I love you, all I have is yours, yours I am, and yours I want to be, do with me whatever you will”- in Jesus name Amen.
Exercise: Visit the Lord today in the Blessed Sacrament and surrender to him totally
Memory Verse: Romans 8:18