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There’s something about consistency we like. We like people to follow through what they say and what they believe in. We mistrust promises which are made with hidden agendas and meaning, like sometimes political promises. Jesus has a similar view and in strong images this Sunday he asks for consistency. If we are to follow him then property (where to lay his head), family (burying the father) and relationships (saying goodbye), while important and relevant, are secondary.
It may sound very tough like a demand not to go to a parent’s funeral; Jesus wishes them to be put in context of honouring our parents also, but he uses them as dramatic examples of following in his path.
This was said to people who wanted to follow him, who had found a desire to live as he asked. This is a great grace. Can we be grateful for the loving call of God to follow his way of life?
It can give a great meaning to life, and an added meaning – to marriage, love, parenthood and jobs. Jesus is asking that we place real and sincere love at the top of our priorities.
This will bring the greatest happiness possible – to live in love and for love, in the big and the ordinary ways of life. How often we can be really happy at the end of the day for what we did that helped others.
Lord, teach me to love as you do, to remain true to others and to you.
May your kingdom come in your people.
Donal Neary SJ