A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Ray Emnace for October 4th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head.” And to another, He said, “Follow Me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But He answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow You, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”


Three potential disciples provide reasons for delaying their decision to follow Jesus, prompting Him to deliver one of His most challenging and direct statements: “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God.”

In His responses, Jesus delves into the deeper truth hindering them— their commitment to Him. In simple terms, His Apostles, along with potential disciples and those hearing this Gospel, must maintain an unwavering focus on His purpose. Like them, we cannot straddle the line between the world and God’s Kingdom; a divided heart IS the obstacle. Jesus demands wholehearted commitment—100% dedication to our future with Him, leaving behind past hurts, mistakes, and regrets. Our relationship with Him depends on the present and future.

As a deacon, a father, and a worker, I strive to find a balance in my commitments—addressing the needs of my family, the demands of my full-time work, the requirements of the parish and ministries, and the desire to “recharge” and relax. Often, I fall short, and the scales get out of balance. It’s during moments when I sit before the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, when I surrender myself to Jesus and implore Him to guide me through my life, that I find peace and the commitment to what He wants and to where He needs me to be.

God calls on us and HE requires us, to prioritize our commitment to Him, directing our focus to follow Him above all else. In doing so, everything else falls into place.

Action of the Day

Given that the only authentic way to follow Jesus is with total commitment, each of us should earnestly ask ourselves these questions: “Am I wholeheartedly following Jesus? Am I reserving something for myself? Do I have one foot in the world as a precaution? Am I clinging to secret sins to avoid missing out on worldly offerings? Am I attempting to serve both Christ and worldly desires? Am I saying, ‘I’ll follow You, Lord, but…?’ Anything following that ‘but’ needs to go!

Jesus calls us to give ourselves entirely and without reservation. Achieving this involves committing our actions with great care and love every single day.

Audio Reflection

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