“I will follow you, Lord, but first ______________.” (Lk 9:61)
I’m thrilled with the total team effort that propelled the Brewers into the National League Playoffs. To show their loyalty and support, Brewer fans have been gobbling up the team’s merchandise. (I can also envision what some people will be getting as Christmas gifts this year.) Yet following the Brewers in their World Series trek isn’t quite the same as following Jesus.
First of all, following Jesus is never convenient. If it were up to us, the time would never be quite right. There’s always just one project to finish, one medical challenge to overcome, one relationship to patch up, one person to care for, or one final goodbye. “It won’t take long, Lord. I’ll be right back; I promise.”
Jesus has a different perspective. He sees the one thing that’s holding us back and knows how much it matters to us. Yet has it ever occur to you that it matters to Him as well? It saddens Him when we turn aside and try to handle it on our own. He wants to be in the middle of the challenge, working with us to make things better. He knows that not only will something wonderful be accomplished but our hearts will change in subtle ways, and we’ll grow closer to him.
The right time is always now. Jesus doesn’t keep track of how many times you may have said, “Not yet.” Wherever you’re on the road, He wants to journey with you. He wants to invite you to take one step closer to becoming the disciple the He’s calling you to be.
That step may seem small and insignificant to you, but every yes has infinite value to God. Every morning when you thank God for the opportunity of another day—the door opens a little more. Every time you ask Him to show you his presence in someone who rubs you the wrong way—your heart softens a bit more. Every time you surrender your loved ones to the Father’s loving care—the bonds of anxiety loosen just a bit more.
How’s Jesus calling you today? Perhaps something like fear or bitterness is holding you back. Maybe the Lord is commending you for your generosity and asking you to take it a little further. Or perhaps you’ve become so busy that you’ve forgotten to listen for His call. Whatever it is, know that you can lay it before him and find the grace you need to take that next right step.
COMING SOON: There will soon be a new weekend Mass time commencing in Milwaukee’s South Shore. Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent (December 2), Nativity of the Lord Parish will offer a 5:30pm Sunday evening Mass. Also beginning in Advent is “Adoremus” at St Paul Parish. On Tuesday evenings (Dec 4, 11, 18), there will be individual Confessions and Eucharistic Adoration at 6:30pm, followed by Mass at 7pm. More information to follow but go ahead and spread the word!
In God’s Time,