I Will Follow You… But


I Will Follow You… But


No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

Discerning our vocation can be a challenging task. When we focus on listening for God’s call in our lives, we have to step out of our “comfort zone” and stop giving excuses – which is not easy… Today’s Gospel story presents to us the tension between the call and the wholehearted answer: “I will follow you, but…”. There are many factors that can hold us back such as fear, uncertainty, uncomfortableness of letting go or simply a lack of a clear vision and direction. Even the saints struggled with this!

In his early twenties, young Eugene de Mazenod experienced a significant internal crisis. We could say he “hit the wall”. It seems like everything that he intended to do in order to bring some peace and stability into his life was falling apart. He deeply missed his father and uncles, who remained in Palermo, while he returned to Aix. At the same time the atmosphere within the Joannis family “suffocated” him. After failing a couple of opportunities for marriage, he had no other prospects at hand. The unsuccessful trip to Paris, where he hoped to obtain a passport, crushed all his dreams about a military career and a splendid life of nobility in Sicily. This time of crisis, disappointment and lack of direction was an opening for a moment of grace from God to fill the emptiness of Eugene’s life.

The experience of Good Friday was a breakthrough when his heart’s deepest desires were fulfilled. Eugene had a personal encounter with God, who is very real. This was the moment when Eugene was called to let go his own ideas of a “comfort zone” and enter into the uncertainty with trust. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head… Follow me.” (Luke 9:58-59). Unlike the men from today’s Gospel, Eugene answered the call. He turned from being self-focused into God-focused, and his life became an oblation to God and His calling. This refocusing of Eugene’s life is confirmed by the conscious decision he made and that was followed by a strong commitment to make God a priority from that day forward. “What more glorious occupation than to act in everything and for everything only for God, to love him above all else, to love him all the more as one who has loved him too late.” (Retreat Notes, December 1814)

Our vocation can only be fulfilled if we have the courage to answer the call. Maybe today you hear a call from God to a particular way of life, to make a change, to do something more. Maybe today Jesus says to you, “Follow me.” Have the courage to answer the call!

By Jarek Pachocki OMI
OMI Lacombe Canada – Vocation Director
WhatsApp (905) 379-7017
Twitter @jarekpachocki
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