As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
One Christmas, my extended family exchanged funny gifts. I remember what my cousin Frank received one year when we were in college; he’s the oldest and admittedly very special to me, the next in line. It was a two billed baseball cap. On the front it read, “I’m their leader. Which way did they go?”
What comes to your mind as you think of following a leader? I immediately thought of two songs. One was from the Disney movie Peter Pan. My sisters and I had the album, and I can still hear the lost boys singing “We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader” as they traipsed after John Darling. The other is a John Denver song I loved. “Follow me, where I go, what I do and who I know. Make it part of you to be a part of me…” I can almost hear Jesus’ voice in the latter.
This week, the Gospel paints a clear picture of the fact that from the start, it hasn’t been easy following Jesus. There are things that need doing and the timing may not be right; this isn’t a particularly convenient moment to leave stuff behind (family, obligations, maybe even self) to follow the Rabbi whose destination is Jerusalem.
In every age, it’s been a challenge to live the Christian life. I have no doubt about that. So I’m not surprised that our time is no easy walk either. But he’s inviting us, over an over, to follow. Most recently, I hear his voice in my head challenging me to speak and act for his children, which my country is persecuting, and for their parents, who are dying in desert and river trying to get here. Please read below if you share an ache for action with me.
This Sunday, we explore what it means to follow him in our lives, and to break the bread and share the life-giving cup that empower us to make that journey. Join us at 10 a.m. this Sunday for Mass at the Center (7117 Washington Ave. S.) At 5 p.m. we will be at Smith Coffee & Cafe on Eden Prairie Road, where we will pray through Labor Day.
In gratitude for your companionship on this journey,