When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:51-62
There are easy roads and more difficult ones. When I first acknowledged my call to priesthood, and began "the process", I really wanted to find a way out. I had two small daughters and saw my future as a clergy person as impossible. My husband was incredibly supportive, so much so, that I wished he would be less so. It seemed painful and hard for me as a mom to fulfill this call. And in truth, it was a real challenge that also came with extraordinary blessings. But I had to face into my pain, anxiety and challenges to follow Jesus. And I have never looked back.
Jesus knew that ahead was incredible pain and testing. He also knew that he had a mission to fulfill, nothing short of making God's love available to the whole world. We are invited to follow this Jesus, not looking back but facing our pain and challenges knowing blessings and strength will also come to us.
Today I ask God to renew my commitment to follow Jesus, to face my pain and challenges, and live into the blessings to come. May we all turn our face to follow him who sacrificed all to bless all of us.
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.