“I will follow you, but let me go first and bury my father.” Then another said, “I will follow you Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Finally, one more said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you” (2Kgs 19:16b, 19-21). When the disciples James and John saw that the Samaritans would not welcome them, they asked the Lord, “Do you want us to call down fire from heaven and consume them?”
The response from the Lord, to the above statements, is the same: “He turned and looked at them and rebuked them.” Let us never forget how radical the Lord is! He is a radical! What is he saying to us today? The answer is a radical one: BURN ALL YOUR BRIDGES! Be like Cortez, sink all your vessels. There must be no looking back or turning back. Let go of all the strings that keep your feet to the ground. If you want to fly, then get rid of all the access baggage that keeps you grounded. “You are my inheritance, O Lord” (Psalm 16:5a). Everything I do, I must do for you, O Lord.
The most successful men and women are the ones who had everything to lose. And those who follow them must be themselves radical in their commitment. Jesus calls us to let go and put God first. It’s not being irresponsible. It’s not silly. It’s not being “naïve or idealistic. If anything, it’s being just. It’s the first commandment set in stone by our Lord’s servant who listened and followed. It’s the first commandment because it is the one that sets us free! The Jews put their God first and made it out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Christ put the Father first and put an end to death. We cannot use this new found freedom to serve ourselves. We were not saved by Christ and absolved from our sins so that we could turn around and hate our neighbor. We were called to fight the greatest of all battles, the battle between what I want and what I should do. The Lord sometimes disguises blessings as tragedies. I know what you’re thinking…how awful! How mean!!! But it’s the beginning step towards believing. Who are we to tell God what is good or bad. Isn’t that what got us in trouble in the first place?
Set no limits on love. Set no conditions on love. Freedom from conditions means to love unconditionally. If your looking for a good friend, then be a good friend and you will make a good friend. Friends are not found, they are made. If you are looking for Mr. Perfect, then be Miss Perfect and "love your neighbor as yourself." If your looking for love, then be the one who loves and you will be loved. Christ has set us free. Slavery sets limits on God – on his graces, miracles and blessings. “Speak Lord; your servant is listening. Only you have the words of everlasting life.” Be open – totally open to all that God wants to say, do and live through you. We are free "through Him, with Him, in Him…” AMEN.