You have to be willing to give it all up, including your own life. Following Christ means total abandonment from worldly possessions . . . disconnecting from earthly pleasures and comfort. I'm not suggesting giving up your home, car, or job. Nor am I suggesting martyrdom. Free yourself from attachment to "things," even from people. Sometimes life doesn't go the way you anticipated. Couples get divorced. Parents die. Children move away. Jobs are lost. Houses go into foreclosure. When we put too much emphasis on the importance of these circumstances . . . things, life can erupt and throw you into a tailspin. But if we are focused on Jesus, we begin to understand things happen in life. And, we learn to trust He is in control. This, in turn, creates calm and peace within. Follow Him. Do His Will. Then let Him take care of everything else.
Todays Gospel (Luke 9:57-62) shows how important it is to let go and follow Christ:
As Jesus and his disciples 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." And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." Jesus answered him, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God."
In Heaven Speaks to Young Adults, Jesus explains the simplicity of following Him:
"Dear soul, it is only through unity with Me that you will have true peace. The world offers you darkness of spirit. Look closely at those who follow the world. Do they have peace? Are they loved? Do they sit calmly with others and allow others to speak, understanding that each soul is precious? You will find, I am sure, that those following the world are cynical. This suits them because if they are cynical they can justify their selfishness. Reject this. Reject cynicism. There are many Christians in your world and these followers of Mine are not cynical. They are warm and loving and kind. And this is what I want for you. So I love you and you love others. It is very simple."
Lay apostles, what keeps you focused on the world and not heaven? Money? Ego? A failed marriage? What can you do today, despite the hectic pace of the world, to detach from earthly comforts? I am trying to listen more, love more, and most importantly, keep my eyes on Jesus and His Will.
Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings my slow detachment from "things" has brought. I know I still struggle, but it is becoming easier by the day.