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Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Come, follow me. (Mark 10:21)
If you were ever called to the principal’s office when you were a child, it was probably either good news or very bad news. Maybe it was to receive a prize or special recognition for your work. Or maybe you needed to be disciplined or told of bad news from home. “Come in,” he or she would have said, but the tone of those two words would depend greatly on the circumstances. It would either have been a gracious invitation or a command.
Which tone do you think Jesus took when he told the rich young man, “Come, follow me” (Mark 10:21)? It seems it was spoken like a generous offer. The scene must have impressed the apostles, because a tiny detail was passed down, which Mark included in his story: “Jesus, looking at him, loved him” (10:21). He was filled with compassion for this man
Notice that Jesus starts off by reminding the man of some of the Ten Commandments, the good rules God has given that are meant to bring us life. When you are unsure how to approach a situation, reflecting on the commandments with the help of the Holy Spirit can often help untangle the confusion, showing a clear way forward.
There are also times when it’s not so simple, times when you feel conflicted about the right path or too weak to do what your conscience is asking. At that moment, the same exciting invitation is open to you: “Come, follow me!” It’s an invitation not simply to walk on some road Jesus walked two thousand years ago, but on a path he is on with you today. A path that leads through the commandments, with his grace, mercy, and wisdom available whenever the road is rough or you lose your way.
Whether you feel you know what God is asking of you or you are struggling to know his will, one solid, undeniable truth still holds: Jesus is looking at you with love. He loves you, even if your track record for following him leaves much to be desired. Let that love warm your heart today. Let it move you and help you overcome whatever hurdles you may be facing today. Let that love help you accept the invitation to follow Jesus more closely and confidently.
“Lord, I want to inherit eternal life by walking the path of life with you.”
Sirach 17:20-24; Psalm 32:1-2, 5-7
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