Wednesday, 26th Week in Ordinary Time
From: Luke 9:57-62
The Calling of Three Disciples
 As they were going along the road, a man said to Him (Jesus), "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, let me first go and bury my father."  But He said to him, "Leave the dead to 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 his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God."
57-62. Our Lord spells out very clearly what is involved in following Him. Being a Christian is not an easy or comfortable affair: it calls for self-denial and for putting God before everything else. See the notes on Matthew 8:18-22 and Matthew 8:22.
[The notes on Matthew 8:18-22 states:
18-22. From the very outset of His messianic preaching, Jesus rarely stays in the same place; He is always on the move. He "has nowhere to lay His head" (Matthew 8:20). Anyone who desires to be with him has to "follow Him". This phrase "following Jesus" has a very precise meaning: it means being His disciple (cf. Matthew 19:28). Sometimes the crowds "follow Him"; but Jesus' true disciples are those who "follow Him" in a permanent way, that is, who keep on following Him: being a "disciple of Jesus" and "following Him" amount to the same thing. After our Lord's ascension, "following Him" means being a Christian (cf. Acts 8:26). By the simple and sublime fact of Baptism, every Christian is called, by a divine vocation, to be a full disciple of our Lord, with all that that involves.
The evangelist here gives two specific cases of following Jesus. In the case of the scribe our Lord explains what faith requires of a person who realizes that he has been called; in the second case--that of the man who has already said "yes" to Jesus--He reminds him of what His commandment entails. The soldier who does not leave his position on the battlefront to bury his father, but instead leaves that to those in the rearguard, is doing his duty. If service to one's country makes demands like that on a person, all the more reason for it to happen in the service of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Following Christ, then, means we should make ourselves totally available to Him; whatever sacrifice He asks of us we should make: the call to follow Christ means staying up with Him, not falling behind; we either follow Him or lose Him. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus explained what following Him involves--a teaching which we find summarized in even the most basic catechism of Christian doctrine: a Christian is a man who believes in Jesus Christ--a faith he receives at Baptism -- and is duty bound to serve Him. Through prayer and friendship with the Lord every Christian should try to discover the demands which this service involves as far as he personally is concerned.]
[The notes on Matthew 8:22 states:
22. "Leave the dead to bury their own dead": although this sounds very harsh, it is a style of speaking which Jesus did sometimes use: here the "dead" clearly refers to those whose interest is limited to perishable things and who have no aspirations towards the things that last forever.
"If Jesus forbade him," St. John Chrysostom comments, "it was not to have us neglect the honor due to our parents, but to make us realize that nothing is more important than the things of Heaven and that we ought to cleave to these and not to put them off even for a little while, though our engagements be ever so indispensable and pressing" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 27).]
We see here the case of the man who wanted to follow Christ, but on one condition--that he be allowed to say goodbye to his family. Our Lord, seeing that he is rather undecided, gives him an answer which applies to all of us, for we have all received a calling to follow Him and we have to try not to receive this grace in vain. "We receive the grace of God in vain, when we receive it at the gate of our heart, and do not let it enter our heart. We receive it without receiving it, that is, we receive it without fruit, since there is no advantage in feeling the inspiration if we do not accept it [...]. It sometimes happens that being inspired to do much we consent not to the whole inspiration but only to some part of it, as did those good people in the Gospel, who upon the inspiration which our Lord gave them to follow Him wished to make reservations, the one to go first and bury his father, the other to go to take leave of his people" (St. Francis de Sales, "Treatise on the Love of God", Book 2, Chapter 11).
Our loyalty and fidelity to the mission God has given us should equip us to deal with every obstacle we meet: "There is never reason to look back (cf. Luke 9:62). The Lord is at our side. We have to be faithful and loyal; we have to face up to our obligations and we will find in Jesus the love and the stimulus we need to understand other people's faults and overcome our own" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 160).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.