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Ordinary Time – 3

How easy is it to follow the Lord? Jesus was walking along and he sees two fishermen and he says: Come, follow me. They follow him on the spot. Walking farther along, he meets two other working men and he calls them too. They follow immediately, without question. If Jesus appears to you today and calls you that way, will you abandon everything and follow him?

The truth is, Jesus continues to call us even now. But why is it that churches are not full to overflowing? Why do people continue to live in sin and hurt each other? Why is it that many people are losing faith rather than committing themselves to it?

In the time of the Lord and the early disciples, it was quite simple to follow because it was easy to hear the voice of the Lord. There was less noise around and within people. There were less blocks that came between the Lord and men. The voice of God was clearly received and therefore easily responded to.

Today, God’s call goes against a lot of obstacles. God calls us to a holy life and yet the lure of the flesh, the world and the ego seems more enticing and appealing. God calls us to a personal relationship but our world values impersonal and virtual relationships through social media and technology. The messages abound, but there is no time to silently and leisurely absorb what is being said.

Life has become complicated and yes, has become inhospitable to the call. Many young people these days do not think of living a life of service to others because the world emphasizes only personal success, riches and comfort. Vocations to the priesthood and the religious life suffer a downward slope.

For some, the world has to come to an abrupt end before being jolted back into the listening mode. When a person gets sick, then he remembers to pray and to get back to the sacraments. When a person is broke, he gets on his knees and opens his heart to the Lord. When a relationship goes awry, it is easier to entrust to God the bleeding heart. Maybe some of you have rediscovered God’s voice in this painful way, too.

Why wait for your world to crumble before you make a stand for Jesus? Today he calls you to a life united with him and in the service of others. All we have to do is listen, give him a chance, allow him to lead you and unfold his plans to you.

How do we accomplish this? We can start by taking the Lord seriously when we attend the Eucharist, by focusing on the celebration amidst the multitude of distractions around. We can also try praying silently and from the heart, maybe at home or maybe in a silent chapel or church. We can read the Bible as a daily companion in life. We can try not to be in a hurry each time we talk to our loved ones and our daily companions. We can try by deciding to listen.

May we hear the voice of the Lord and like the disciples decide to follow him totally.