Growing up there were times when I had to make a difficult decision in my life. I would pray about it, make a list of pros and cons, and then after careful consideration, I made the decision. However, sometimes I still felt uncertain. It was then that my mother would tell me to not look back on the decision. Once it was made, don’t second guess yourself or it could eat you up alive on the inside. She would say “right, wrong or indifferent you made your decision now move forward.”
This week’s readings also involve decisions. In our first reading from 2 Kings, we have the story of the end of the ministry of the great prophet Elijah. He is passing on his mantle to Elisha who will become a great prophet as well. Elisha is taken in and treated kindly by a woman who knows he is a man of God. Elisha wants to do something nice for her. She wants to have a child, and he prays and prophecies that in a year she will have a child. This indeed came to pass. We too need to state our requests to God and others and have them pray for you. Sometimes people are superstitious and think that if they ask for prayers, then it might not happen. This is silly. Prayer with our Lord is not a birthday wish, it is a child asking his Father for help. So, make your requests known and see what happens! God wants all of us to be fully committed to Him. Not 50% or even 75%, but 100%. As Catholics our Lord wants all of us, not just the parts we want to give Him. Often times we say “Yes Lord, I will give you everything, except this little piece of me which I hang on to just in case things don’t work out with you.” Our Lord demands all of us. We win our greatest victories, not on a battlefield, but on our knees. We win by surrendering. It sounds paradoxical and it is! It is a radical way to live. That is why being a Catholic is so counter-cultural in today’s society. You are living a radical life! In our Gospel, our blessed Lord says similar things to people wanting to follow Him but wish to do other things first. When you put impediments in between ourselves and our Lord, even other people, no matter who they are, then we deny ourselves the graces and the miracles that God has for us in our lives. We are still trying to be in control.
St. Paul recognizes this and tells the Romans to put off the yokes of slavery and sin. Surrender all to Christ. Live in the Spirit and stop toying with the flesh. It is time to radically follow Jesus. So, this week, let us surrender our own wills to God, and put on Christ and live in His Spirit, if we truly do this, we will be radically transformed. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!