Saturday, February 16, 2013

Follow me

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62 NIV)

As we read Luke chapter 9, we can see that it is a very busy chapter. Jesus multiplies the bread for the crowd, heals the sick, is transfigured at the mountain before three of his disciples, goes to Jerusalem; He is not accepted in a samaritan village and He has to go to another village, and at the end, while He is going there, he talks to these three people that the scripture tells us about.

There are several possible ways that we can relate to Jesus, and in all of them we know He does good for us: He blesses us, He feeds us, He comforts us, He heals us. From all these manifestations of Jesus's authority, among all the miracles, there is one manifestation that is more subtle, maybe less impressive, less virtuous, but that is the one that have my attention due to the impact it has in our lives.

It is Jesus calling: "follow me". How simple is to comprehend a miracle, a manifestation of power, glory, and divine healing. These are, in fact, glorious moments that leave a mark in the history of those who are present, of those who received a favor from God. The calling "follow me", however, is something of much greater deepness, much greater transcendence, and whose responsive action is not something tight, immediate, unique. But to respond this calling make us to question the very essence of who we are, which values we have, what is important to us and what is the priority of our hearts.

"Follow me". Such a simple expression that leads us to the most profound reflection. A simple calling with the power to hit our spirit and soul in a way we could never think possible. So much at stake! So many questions! It is Jesus calling us to something higher, something precious, something inscrutable. Moreover, it touches the subjects that most afflicts us: it is something we do not know, something that we are afraid of, something that challenges us to see beyound the limits of our own individuality.

The social and moral degradation we have seen around us, if you and I just stop to think about, comes from the fact that more and more the individualism is being aimed and preached, and each time there are less limits for what someone could desire and achieve. However these things stick us to a meaningless life, that could follow its way towards the grave without knowing a thing but itself, its wishes, its selfishness.

"Follow me", said Jesus. Jesus invites us to abandon our own way and follow His way; or better, the way which is Himself. He invites us to stop deciding where we would go, where we would eat, where we would sleep, what are our dreams and ambitions, in order to live and walk whatever He lives and walks. Such a simple expression, but like a two-edged sword, it crosses the human soul, taking us to the most profound questions.

How would I respond? How would you respond? Are we able of leaving aside the emptyness of our own priorities in life? Are we able to see how much meaningless our own search becomes when we live circling around ourselves? Are we able to respond to this call?

"Follow me", Jesus says to us today.