Both our first reading and the gospel invite us to reflect on what it means to be a disciple, the call, the commitment and the “cost”. We see that God had chosen Elisha to be a prophet and to succeed Elijah. Elisha is going about his everyday work, plowing with the twelve yoke of oxen (which reflects that his family was wealthy). How does Elisha respond? Elisha leaves behind his mother and father, his work and material possessions and becomes Elijah’s assistant. Elisha’s response was total. In other words, Elisha was fully committed to the call he received from God.
In today’s gospel, Jesus encounters three people who desire to be a disciple. All three received the call to follow Jesus. He calls the first to radical poverty. Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head. He calls the second to allow nothing to take precedence over the commitment to the Gospel. Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God. He calls the third to not to be distracted. No one who sets his hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.
Jesus calls us to discipleship, not just at our Baptism or at our Confirmation, but each day. How are we responding? Do we realize that Jesus Christ has freed us from the power of sin and death? For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. When we choose to sin, we profoundly abuse the freedom won for us by Jesus Christ, through His Passion, death and resurrection. True freedom allows us to say “yes” to the call to follow Jesus.
God bless us all always!