Follow Me?

Hither ye behind me! Yep; that’s what Jesus said. Modern translations simply say, “Come follow me.” These words of Jesus were an imperative call to present and continuous action. One Greek Grammar says that Jesus was calling for long-term commitment; to habits suited to such a commitment; a commitment that would cultivate virtue leading to a certain lifestyle. Ignatius, working with this big kingdom idea, taught us to follow Jesus by finding God in all things. He and other spiritual masters knew that this meant we had to engage in practices of noticing, reflecting and discerning; learning to be steadily conscious of God, self and others.  Frank Laubach (Letters by a Modern Mystic), stands in this tradition. He writes that submission is the first and last duty of man; that we are learning to respond to God as a violin responds to the bow of the master.  He says this begins with listening, moves to surrender and finds it best fruit in a determined, resolved will to act with God. The question mark we’ve put at the end of Jesus’ imperative is both invitation and call to decisive action to take serious Jesus’ command to come follow me—and in so doing to find, in Laubach’s words, that every day is tingling with the joy of glorious discovery.

– Todd Hunter​

Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, August 24

Reading:  Genesis 14:18-24 and Luke 1:46-55

  1. Upon Abram’s return from battle he is met by two kings, one of which is Melchizedeck. Sit with Genesis 14:18-24 as you reflect on Abram and his character. What do you notice about the exchange and about Abram’s response to enrichment offered outside of God’s promise to him?
  2. Have you ever been offered a type of enrichment that seemed like a good thing at first blush but was not quite right? What happened? How did the deal turn out? How did you experience yourself or what did see in yourself during the episode? What did you discover about God during that experience?
  3. As you read Mary’s Magnificat (or prayer-song of praise to God) from Luke 1:46-55, realize an entire nation, in fact all of humanity has been enriched by one man’s loyalty to and faith in God and his promises to bless us. What words of encouragement do you find in Mary’s song that might help you endure temptations to doubt or reject God’s life giving love and enrichment  for your life?

Ordinary Time Readings: Sunday, August 17

Reading: Genesis 12:1-5 and Matthew 9:35-38

  1. As you read and reflect on Genesis 12:1-5, what do you discover about God’s truest intention for all humanity?
  2. What do you discover about God’s intention for a generative kind of life (living beyond ourselves, creative fruitfulness) from God’s specific invitation to Abraham?
  3. In what ways do you sense God inviting you into a deeper or richer experience of generative blessing; both personally and as a source of blessing to others? How is this being realized in your relationships? Your work? Your pleasures and social activities?
  4. As you read the Gospel account in Matthew 9:35-38, what do you discern about Jesus’ character and calling on earth? What invitations do you sense him presenting to you today? Spend moments in prayer asking for a heart of compassion to see the multitudes as he does: harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Talk to God about generative (creative) ways you might be involved in his work on earth: going to the sick, the afflicted, the harassed, the helpless with the good news of God’s redemptive love.