CANON ANTHONY WRITES:
It can be very easy sometimes to offer to do something, and even though what is volunteered is genuinely offered, it can be the case that we don’t really fully understand what is expected, what is involved. In the Gospel today we hear of Jesus meeting someone on the road who immediately says: ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ And another who offers to follow Jesus but says that he has other duties to carry out first.
What Jesus makes very clear though is that following him doesn’t allow for compromise, there can be no half-measures. What Jesus expects is that those who take on his ways will do so wholeheartedly, his ways have to have absolute priority. When we think about those expectations of Jesus they can seem to be very harsh, they can seem to be too demanding. Jesus has a right to expect that those who want to be followers will commit themselves fully to him; he can expect that because he has given himself completely as we are reminded every time we look at him on the Cross.
The way that Jesus sets before us is demanding, but the reason that he makes such demands is because he wants the best for us. He sets before us a way of life that will bring us peace and contentment, that will enable us to share his life, and eventually make it possible for us to share the very life of God Himself.
For everyone who lives a busy life there can be all manner of demands, all sorts of things that capture our attention and our time, and good as some of those things will be they can take us away from what is of real importance. They can take away from that essential following of Jesus which is at the heart of our life of faith, the life of discipleship.
To be a disciple we have to be rooted in Christ, his ways have to be allowed to grow deep within us. And that invites us to have an awareness of how we live our faith. To see our faith not just as something we do on Sundays by going to Mass, but rather to see what we do on Sundays as affecting, and influencing, the rest of the week. To be a disciple is to live with a constant awareness of Jesus Christ, and it is following him by being conscious of all he does and says, and allowing his ways to shape everything we say and do every day.