Wednesday of the 26th Week of the Year

Luke 9:57-62

The Would-be Followers of Jesus


In the movie, “Brother Sun and Sister Moon”, a scene portrayed St. Francis stripping himself naked and returning everything that he had to his father. Everyone was amazed at what he did. They could not understand how a person accustomed to a life of ease and plenty could leave everything – inheritance, influence, pedigree, only to face life of poverty and uncertainty. All because of Christ’s words in today’s gospel: “Whoever puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

Jesus wants a single-minded response to His invitation to follow Him – a radical discipleship, a life devoted exclusively to his mission, to live in simplicity and trust. How could Francis give up everything? He could do it because he loved God tremendously and trusted in all almighty and ever loving God who will see that he will want for nothing.

We might not be able to be as literal as St. Francis was in answering the call of Christ, but we can at least discriminate between values that are right and wrong, Christian and non-Christian, life-giving and destructive. We can make choices. (Sr. Isabel Angela, SSpS Bible Diary 2006)


Today’s gospel tells a similar story of men who want to follow the Lord. Do they really know what they are talking about? Do they really know the demands that Jesus will be asking from them if ever he accepts them in his company? Let us take one example of a fellow who expressed his desire to follow Jesus provided he first goes home and says “goodbye” to his family and relatives.

And Jesus told him: “Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” What does the Lord mean? It means that the proclamation of the Kingdom is matter of importance and urgency that needs to be preached immediately and nothing should ever delay, prevent and stop its proclamation. In politics, “no filibustering.”

The message of today’s gospel demands a full time commitment to follow, love and serve God. The biggest mistake we make is when we set conditions and excuses in terms of our relationship with God. God never placed conditions when he created us, and even when Jesus the Son died on the cross for us. His love for us is unconditional. In following Him, there is no retreat, no surrender, no return no exchange. (Fr. Gerry Donato, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


“Following” Jesus suggests a fundamental meaning of mission or apostolic vocation. The place, time and distance do not matter. Just “being” with Jesus is the foundation on which every motivation for doing stands.

I did mission training in China prior to my personal vows as a religious missionary. Doing mission in China was not always easy, but it was very challenging and enriching. At the start, I thought I was completely lost, not being familiar with the Chinese language and culture. There was so much loneliness and struggle, and the most difficult part of it was the feeling that I was not doing anything significant.

But later on, as I gradually acquainted  myself with the Chinese language, I discovered that the most important thing that I have ever accomplished was the deepening of my faith and quality of my life experience which I often questioned as I was faced with the challenges and realities of China.

Motivation for doing mission does not only consist in having the capacity to produce, to accomplish, or to travel a distance, it also consists in just having Jesus – walking with Him, listening to Him, and spending time with Him. Mission is not only having done much for the Lord, but also having the Lord doing much to one’s life. (Fr. Roland U. Aquino, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


As parish priest, I have noticed many people who enthusiastically joined parish organizations left and right, only to die out in their commitment when regular prayers, meetings and activities set in. I asked one volunteer why she left,. She replied, “Father, my three barkadas left the organization, so I left too.”

Today, three volunteers come to Jesus and express their willingness to follow Him. However, the commitment of each one is faulty, because it has its implied limits. The first one volunteers to go with Him wherever he goes, thinking about accompanying Him to this or that town. The last two volunteers express delayed commitments. They fully intend to be his disciples sometime and somehow, but not immediately. The second wants to bury his father first. The third wants to bid goodbye first to his family.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with what these three volunteers propose. There is nothing wrong with commitment to one’s family; there is nothing wrong with having a home; there is nothing wrong with carrying out one’s filial responsibilities; there is nothing wrong with saying goodbye – unless these are what keep you from wholeheartedly following Christ.

Jesus is talking about having the right priorities. Jesus is saying that those who would be His disciples, those who would follow him,  must be those put Him above all things, including one’s family. Our love for God must always have a higher priority than our love for family.

Certainly, an uphill climb! However, the Bible teaches us that the heart of life is not to be found apart from a living, saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I can delight in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ, without ever being married, and without ever having a family. It is also possible that God may enable you to better serve Him through marriage and family than by serving Him alone. But the ultimate issue is that we choose to follow Him (Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel SVD Bible Diary 2015).


September 28, 2016 Wednesday

Recruiters sometimes use flowery words and tricky answers which are not realistic and even contain some lies and empty promises. They present only what is good and beautiful. The aws and negative side usually come in later as a surprise.

Jesus is a very honest recruiter, showing and explaining everything not only the joys of being his followers but also the pains and obstacles that lie ahead. In the Gospel story today, He is being realistic when

He says, “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” He doesn’t do cover-ups. He is not a pretender. He declares everything, not only what he has but also what he lacks.

Jesus’ truthfulness gives his listeners a clear idea about his message so that they will be able to make a decision once and for all to say yes or no, nothing more, nothing less, nothing in-between. All sides are justly presented: What you see is what you get.

So, if we say yes to be his followers, what is expected of us to be truly called Christians? First, we have to be always truthful like Jesus. He shows us that sincerity and honesty attract love. And, secondly we need to be ready at all times to report for the call of duty. That, doing the good and the better and eventually doing the best, is always our priority and is always urgent. What is more urgent than to do something for the greater Glory of God? Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you have… Jesus is calling: “As for you, proclaim the Kingdom of God.” (Fr. Romel S. Porillo, SVD Papua New Guinea Bible Diary 2016)


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 26TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 9:57-62. ANDAM BA KITA NGA MOSUNOD KANG KRISTO KARON UG SA TANANG HIGAYON? Dihay gustong mosunod kang Hesus, apan siya miingon, “Sir, mouli una ako aron paglubong sa akong amahan.” Diha puy lain nga miingon, “Mosunod ako kanimo, Sir, apan tugoti una ako pagpauli aron pagpanamilit sa akong banay.” Tabla ra ni nga miingon, “Mosunod ko, pero unya na.” Dili ba ingon ani man usab ang daghan kanato. “Magbinuotan ko, pero unya na inig kahuman nako’g binuang.” “Mosimba ko, pero unya na kon magluya nako.” “Moalagad ko sa Simbahan, pero unya na kon moretiro nako.” Kini nga matang sa batasan dili makalipay sa Ginoo. Kon gusto kita mosunod kaniya, buhaton nato kini karon dayon, dili unya, dili ugma. Sakto ang pahimangno: “Satan’s greatest lie is, “You have plenty of time to get right with God.” Posted by Abet Uy


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reflection for September 30, Wednesday Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor: Luke 9:57-62

Reflection: What does it require for someone who wants to follow Jesus? It requires total surrender and abandonment to His will. When a person decides to follow Jesus he is ready to leave everything in favor of the Kingdom of God. He is ready to leave his own comfort zone and embrace the challenge of going to an unknown zone in the company of the Lord.

The gospel tells us that it’s not easy to follow the Lord. We have to adjust and make the necessary sacrifices. This may seem hard from a far but once you go near Jesus begin your journey with Him. Things will now suddenly fall into its proper places this is for the reason that the Lord will make his way to accommodate us.

Has the Lord abandoned those who decided to leave everything for the advancement of His kingdom? Nobody has been abandoned by Jesus. He is always there by their side helping and strengthening those who courageously decide to follow Him.

In this era of high tech communication the Lord still wants us to follow Him. He may not even require us anymore to leave our love ones. Perhaps the Lord wants us to follow Him where we are at now.

For example, if you’re working or you have a business you can follow the Lord by being honest with your dealings. The opportunity to follow the Lord is manifold and limitless. We simply have to signify our desire and thereafter begin our own journey with Him.

Would you also be willing to follow the Lord? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Monday, September 26, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday September 28, Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 9:57-62

Reflection: How do you follow the Lord inside the Sacrament of Matrimony? You follow the Lord by being faithful to your marriage vows. We know for a fact that the priest who marries the husband and wife does it in the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore the two persons  becomes one through the Sacrament of Matrimony courtesy of Jesus.

However, no marriage is made in heaven, every marriage goes through the fire of trials and tribulations. But if both spouses are serious in following the Lord through the Sacrament of Matrimony. Both spouses should always find it in their hearts to forgive whatever offenses that was committed against them.

This simply means that there should always be a sacred room for forgiveness in the heart of hearts of married couples. This is for the reason that married couples are not perfect, in fact both are flawed individuals united by Jesus in the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Therefore, forgiveness must be one of those select requirements for both husband and wife if they want to follow the Lord. But forgiveness doesn’t come cheap, it comes with a very high price tag.

However, if the Lord is present their union and if both spouses are serious in their desire to follow the Lord. There would always be love, forgiveness and humility until they breathe their last. –  Marino J. Dasmarinas


September 30, 2015

Wednesday of 26th Week in Ordinary Time

Neh 2:1-8; Ps. 136: 1-6, Lk 9: 57-62

Choice of Priority in Conflicting Commitments

Today’s Gospel text sheds light on genuine discipleship in the face of conflicting commitments: The first would-be follower volunteers “to follow Jesus wherever he would go”. From the response of Jesus , we can conclude that he was not discouraging the man, but challenging him to rise above his shallow understanding of ‘following Jesus’, only  in a geographical  sense of moving from place to place and house to house. Probably he failed in it , when he came to know the kind of insecurity of  human life implied in it from the mouth of Jesus himself.

The second and third would-be disciples exemplify what may be called “delayed commitments”. It may be noted that in both cases the word used by each of the two is “first”.   “Let me bury my father first” (v. 60), and “……but first let me take leave of my people at home” (v. 61). Here the first one wants to delay his following in view of his family commitment, taking care of his parents, until the time they are called by the Lord from this world. It would appear this request to be genuine and reasonable.  In response to it, Jesus’ comment, “Let the dead bury their own dead; you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God” contains a wealth of insights regarding the question of discipleship, which only Jesus could reveal out of his divine comprehension of reality. Was Jesus being harsh and rude to this man? Not really. We are free to decide whether we will take the path which Jesus offers; but if we choose  it, then the Lord wants us to count the cost and choose it freely, without any sort of conditions, because, ultimately it comes down to what is most important and indispensable.

In the case of the other man, he had no obligation to return home, but simply wanted to say good-bye to family members and friends; but Jesus surprised him by his words of warning in terms of the metaphor of a plough man. He sets down a principle that every farmer would understand: You cannot plough a straight row looking backward.

What does the story of a plough man have to do with discipleship? It was not his going back to say good-bye that was wrong; it was that doing so would keep him from following Jesus. For, Jesus in his divine wisdom must have discerned thus: His father might take him aside and remind him of his obligations to his family; his wife might remind him that she was pregnant; his mother might start sobbing uncomfortably etc. And so Jesus seems to be saying that anything that turns our hearts from a full commitment to follow him should be avoided. It seems that Jesus knew that this man still had a yearning to stay at home, rather than to follow him.

The Gospel does not record the response from these three would-be disciples. We are only left with the question which Jesus intends for us as well. Are you ready to take the path Jesus offers? His grace is sufficient and his love is strong enough. There is nothing greater we can do with our lives than to place them at the service of the Lord and Master of the universe. Fr. Louis Malieckal CMI


CALLED TO BE SAINTS; CALLED TO BE HOLY – If you drive along EDSA in Metro Manila, I’m sure you notice the humongous billboards that assault our senses on a daily basis. I’m sure you notice, too, that almost all of these billboards bear the faces of famous personalities that also assault our senses daily through TV, movies and print.

One time as I was driving, I was intrigued by this billboard that showed a very unfamiliar face adorned with a very familiar pair of eyeglasses. The ad showed an anonymous face wearing the famous Ninoy Aquino eyeglasses. At the bottom of the ad it says, “I am Ninoy.” The message is clear. Heroism is a call for everyone. Heroism is a call for every Juan (dela Cruz). It means every anonymous citizen can make a difference. Every anonymous common man or woman is called to make a difference. I smiled when I saw that ad. It was a refreshing change in the midst of our celebrity-worshiping culture.

I have nothing against the entertainment business, but frankly we don’t really need celebrities. Well, at least no more. We already have an oversupply of them — good-looking celebrities who waste our TV viewing time with  their utter lack of talent and their endless tragic affairs of the heart. What we need are heroes. And heroes are not celebrities. In fact, heroes do not want to be celebrities. Their celebrity status is only a by-product of their noble pursuits. If Ninoy is now a “celebrity,” it is only because he was first and foremost a hero.

Today, we celebrate the feast of the first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz and his companion martyrs. He was a virtual unknown until his blood nourished the Christian faith in Japan where he was martyred. He was a common man, an anonymous man who became a hero. In San Lorenzo, the theme of the 2014 Year of the Laity is personified: “Called to Be Saints, Called to Be Heroes.” He did not want to be a celebrity. He was not a celebrity. But he made a difference. We do need another hero, not another celebrity. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you aspire for sanctity? Do you aspire for heroism? When was the last time you did a noble thing in anonymity? How did it make you feel?

Lord Jesus, I dedicate myself today to be “light of the world and salt of the earth.” Help me discover the many little ways I can live up to Your challenge. Amen. (2016.09.28


September 28, 2016


In today’s gospel reading Jesus seems to be positively discoura­ging eager would-be disciples from becoming full-fledged disciples. But is that really the case? It seems not. It seems he is merely warning those starry-eyes idealists that following him entails detachment from body comforts, availability and wholehearted commitment. This is illustrated in the case of the three “volunteers” featured in this passage.

The first one lacks realism. He seems not to be aware that follo­wing Jesus means leaving behind one’s comfort zone and facing uncomfor­table situations. Jesus reminds him that he, Jesus, is homeless.

The second wants to delay follo­wing Jesus until his old father dies. Jesus refuses any such delay. The Kingdom of God cannot wait.

The third one is looking back in the direction of his family. Jesus tells him that the time has come to look forward instead, like a good plower who, because of the hardness of the Palestinian soil, has to put his full weight to hold down the plow. With Jesus, half-measures will not do.

In our own lives, can we meet Jesus’ tough requirements? Are we held back by our body comforts or our family ties?



26th Week, Ordinary Time, Wednesday, 28-09-16

Job 9:1-13, 14-16 / Luke 9:57-62

The book of Job presents God as beyond our human comprehension.

In other words, the book of Job tells us that God is much bigger than our ideas of Him, and He is beyond our definition.

The same can be said of Jesus in today’s gospel. His demands of discipleship is way beyond our human comprehension.

Our initial reaction would be: How could Jesus be so demanding and unreasonable?

But when we reflect deeper, we will understand the purpose of Jesus.

Jesus is asking for an instant response to His call. There can be no hesitation; all else must be put aside. He is asking us to put Him as top priority.

In every situation that we are going to come across, the same question will be asked: Do you want to follow Me? Now?

An immediate response will be demanding of us. But when we are surrender totally to Him and make an immediate response, Jesus will never shortchange us, for He will also be immediate in responding to our needs and whatever we require to follow Him.

When Jesus calls, may we respond immediately. Because when we call out to Him, He too will respond immediately. That is not too difficult to comprehend. Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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