July 2, 2012 - Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Amos 2.6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50.16bc-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23 Resp. 22a
Matthew 8.18-22

The presumption behind the Gospel today is the ability of Jesus to read the hearts of those he was speaking to. The scribe says, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” What better statement of Christian discipleship is there? This would be a beautiful prayer, that we would turn to Jesus and say, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus looks at the man’s heart and sees something there which was not explicitly spoken. Jesus has to warn the man because of his false assumption. It seems that the man thought that Jesus was going somewhere, some permanent place of rest. Jesus warns the man that following him does not involve a final destination here on earth. The foxes and the birds have nice homes, but the Son of Man will not rest his head until it is in the borrowed tomb.

Is the scribe ready to follow Jesus wherever, even if there is nowhere to go? Are we ready to follow Jesus in our lives, every day of our lives, despite the fact that he does not seem to be leading us to a den or a nest where we can settle down. Many people spend their whole lives waiting to settle down, and then they will get started. Nothing is taken very seriously until they have arrived at the destination. But the call of God is not always so neat and tidy.

Our only destination is heaven, and it would defeat the purpose of this life to not start living until we get there. We have to live in this moment, wherever we are. This moment is the where God’s grace is for us, because it is real, it is actual, it is not just in our head. This moment is probably not ideal, and it is certainly not stable. But no matter what moments we lived in the past and how we lived them, and no matter what moments we look to and hope for and expect in our future, this is the only moment we can live in: the present moment. So we are going to follow Jesus, not wherever he goes, but wherever he is, wherever he tells us to be, wherever we find ourselves. Wherever we are right now, that is where we are going to follow Jesus. There is no reason to wait. Now is the acceptable time; today is the day of salvation.