It is interesting to note that the commissioning of the seventy-two is preceded by an episode aptly titled in the New American Bible as ‘The Would-be Followers of Jesus’ (Lk 9:57-62). In this account we hear three voices besides the voice of Jesus. The first claims to be ready to follow Jesus completely. Jesus replies, “Foxes have their holes and swallows have their nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, implying the rigour of discipleship. To the second voice, Jesus extends the invitation to follow him but he is asked to wait till he has buried his father. Jesus instructs him about priorities. The third voice also like the first expresses readiness but displays hesitation. He wants to consult his family first.
These three voices reveal three types of disciples. The first type are those ready to brave it all for God’s glory. The second are those whom the Lord calls but who put it off for another day. The third are those who find it hard to decide for themselves. They are easily swayed by others and find it tough to assert themselves. All of us fall into one of these categories. If we are in the first category, let us ask God to give us the grace to follow Him wholeheartedly and to help us discern His will for us. If we are in the second or third categories, then let us first discern in prayer what exactly is hindering us from committing ourselves to the Lord and offer up these obstacles to Him asking Him to give us the strength to overcome them and to make us His true followers.
Cl Ian Pinto sdb