It’s hard to leave the things you know and love behind. We all crave security. In the First Reading Nehemiah misses his home country, but puts on a brave face until the king asks him why he is so sad, and he reveals to him his desire to return to Jerusalem from exile and rebuild. Nehemiah doesn’t want to ask, because he knows the exile is God’s will, but the Lord puts it in the king’s heart to perceive that something is wrong and indicate that his will is now for Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild. The time of exile is over.
In today’s Gospel there are disciples who want to help Our Lord, but without sacrificing a place to call home and being with their loved ones. He makes them choose. They won’t forget what or who they’ve left behind; it’s the very act of leaving someone or something behind that makes their discipleship fruitful. It would be cruel if it were not for a greater good, not only for them, but for those they love. Everyone has a place in the Kingdom of God that awaits them, but not everyone can reach it alone. We wouldn’t rest until our families and friends could achieve it, but that shouldn’t limit us to just seeking it for them. Therefore Our Lord calls us to help the friendless as well.
Our Lord knows the best way to help those we love. Let’s ask him today to show us, even if it implies sacrifice.
Readings: Nehemiah 2:1–8; Psalm 137:1–6; Luke 9:57–62.