This Sunday’s readings focus on the commitment needed to respond to the Lord’s call, a reminder that true faith comes from the heart.
The Gospel tells of the wholehearted commitment required by Jesus of his followers – not coercion, as suggested by James and John. Jesus makes the three who come forward aware of what following him really means: it is not to be imagined as a part-time or ‘easy’ option. Jesus does not want his disciples to hesitate.
In the First Reading, Elisha responds quickly to being ‘anointed’ by Elijah. He shows his desire to serve the Lord by leaving his livelihood and home, empty-handedly following Elijah.
In the Second Reading, St Paul emphasizes the importance of freedom. However, he warns the Galatians, and us too, that this is not an excuse for self-indulgence. The Spirit will guide us so that we love our neighbours as ourselves. Living in freedom encourages us to take total responsibility for our own lives, rather than blame others for any personal difficulties.
If, like the Psalmist, we trust and follow the Lord’s path of life, it will lead us to eternal joy.
Let’s pray this week for the grace of freedom in being able to accept unconditionally God’s will for us. We also continue to pray for peace throughout the whole world, and especially for the people of Ukraine and eastern Europe.