Daily Gospel Reflection - Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Bishop Robert Barron
September 28, 2022
Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Wednesday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 9: 9:57-62
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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel invites us to follow Jesus above all. The heart of the message is the claim that he is everything, the one for whom a totalizing decision has to be made.
I want to consider in detail how one man in our Gospel responded to the Lord’s call to discipleship. Jesus simply said, “Follow me,” and the man replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” Well, then as now, nothing would seem more reasonable! Of course you have to take care of your own father’s funeral. What could be more important, especially in a family-centric culture like that of ancient Israel?
Jesus answers with devastating laconicism: “Let the dead bury their dead.” We’re stunned by this deeply insensitive answer! This violates every sense of ethics and decorum that we have. Be honest: if you heard this from a religious teacher, wouldn’t you be tempted to leave him?
Here’s the point: Jesus hasn’t one little thing against family obligations. But he will insist that our relationship to him is more important than even those most sacred of obligations. Even this most precious thing must fall away if we are to make him absolutely first.