a special invitation
"Someone said to Him, 'I will be Your follower wherever You go.' Jesus said to him, 'The foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' " —Luke 9:57-58
Few Christian groups use Jesus' approach in drawing people to follow Him. Many groups offer a "prosperity gospel" to attract people to Jesus. Some promise blessings, wealth and healing to those who follow Jesus. Other groups emphasize an other-worldly "prosperity gospel," promising the eternal happiness of heaven in contrast to the eternal misery of hell.
The Lord will surely give us blessings, prosperity, healing and eternal happiness. Nevertheless, this is not the way Jesus invites people to follow Him. He challenges us to accept the cross: "Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps" (Lk 9:23).
When Jesus called someone to follow Him, He did not promise them power or prosperity. He didn't even mention heaven. He told them not to expect even a roof over their heads (Lk 9:58). Jesus appealed to people by challenging them to love and obey Him unconditionally. When people followed Him, it was not because "of the persuasive force of 'wise' argumentation, but the convincing power of the Spirit" (1 Cor 2:4).
Prayer: Jesus, I give my life to You on Your terms.
Promise: "But how can a man be justified before God? Should one wish to contend with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength." —Jb 9:2-4
Praise: Don, a teenage drug-addicted atheist on the point of death, grabbed in desperation a book on Marian apparitions from his mother's bookshelf. He was pierced by what he read, found a Catholic priest, gave his life to Jesus, and is now a priest himself.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012
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