LK 9: 51-62


tnx: fr tam nguyen


It’s been 25 years since the Servant of God, Richie Fernando, a Filipino Jesuit scholastic, offered his life for others in Cambodia. In a tribute a friend of his wondered how Richie could say to his mom when he entered the seminary: “I am no longer your son… When I die, you will not worry about me…” Wasn’t it cruel of him to say that? But then, the friend concluded this was Richie’s way of saying he “knew where his heart is… It is with Jesus Christ!”


The Lord Jesus tells us this Sunday, “Let the dead bury their dead… you cannot look back… just follow me!” And he says those words with a sense of urgency, with serious demand, with full authority.


In the Easter season and beyond, we went through a series of feasts – Pentecost, Trinity, Corpus Christi. It just goes to say that we are blessed; we have been given so many graces in life. And for what reason? To set us free! St. Paul says: For freedom, we have been set free! As Christians, we are called to let go of any attachments… and this means even our family ties, if these will hinder us from saying Yes to God first and always!


When St. Paul tells us that we are made free for freedom, he intends to make us realize our freedom to follow the Lord is not temporary, not limited. We are truly free but we must not return to our former habits and attitudes. Now we travel the road with Jesus alone! Like Richie, our heart is with Jesus Christ!


But it is not always easy to dedicate our lives to the Lord each and every moment. How many times have we done this in the past and saw ourselves falling, failing, and returning to our former ways. Many times we forget our commitment; we fail to hear Jesus calling us to the right path; we feel drawn to other things that we think will satisfy our longings and desires.


It is only with prayer, with attentiveness, with daily renewal of our dedication to the Lord that we can succeed in using our freedom to freely choose to love and follow him. This day, let us pray precisely for this grace… to be free for Jesus!