13th Sunday of the Year – Called to Follow the Lord

Blue hills

Study:  What keeps you from trusting others?  What keeps you from trusting God?

Pray:  Is there something in your life that is holding you back from God?  Take it to prayer.

Serve:  Is there someone in your life right now who can use your help following the Lord?  What can you do?

13th Sunday Readings

The scenario looks like this:  a group of people are assembled together on a project and one of the leaders comes up and says, “I need someone to help me.  Any volunteers?”

Several possible responses may occur:

1.  No one says a word but looks at the floor and tries to disappear.

2.  Many people speak up, but they want to know what the task is before they will commit.

3.  One or two raise their hands, but they say that they have other things to do first.

4.  Many people raise their hands, and say, “Yes.  What do you need?”

While we might hope that we are always generous with our time, we know that there are moments when we are guarded and skeptical when someone makes a blind request.  We want to know some basic facts.  What is the task?  How much time will it take?  How much effort or skill?  Who will be working with me?

These questions are reasonable; in our day to day efforts they are the foundation of common sense relationships.  We ask these questions to insure that we are not going to commit ourselves to something that is distasteful, beyond our ability, or overly time consuming.

Yet there are times when we say “Yes!” without a moment’s hesitation.  We agree to a task sight unseen, not knowing the cost.  We are willing to offer ourselves, trusting that we will be able to carry out what we are asked to do.

The key to a willing volunteer is trust.  Trust implies that the one who follows believes in the one who leads.  When we trust another we do not necessarily need to know all the details; we know that the one we follow will not subject us to something that is beyond our scope or destructive to our lives.

In the Gospel today Jesus invites people to follow him, yet he receives many different responses.  Some gave excuses, some misunderstood him, and some turned away – yet the Lord continued to invite them to follow.

This invitation is ours as well.  Christ calls us to follow him, yet he does not tell us the cost.  May our faith help us to trust, that we might have the strength to volunteer all that we have in our journey through life.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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