Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi – Scripture Reading of the Day




Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi – Scripture Reading of the Day

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 457

1st Reading – NEH 2:1-8

In the month Nisan of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,
when the wine was in my charge,
I took some and offered it to the king.
As I had never before been sad in his presence,
the king asked me, “Why do you look sad?
If you are not sick, you must be sad at heart.”
Though I was seized with great fear, I answered the king:
“May the king live forever!
How could I not look sad
when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins,
and its gates have been eaten out by fire?”
The king asked me, “What is it, then, that you wish?”
I prayed to the God of heaven and then answered the king:
“If it please the king,
and if your servant is deserving of your favor,
send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves,
to rebuild it.”
Then the king, and the queen seated beside him,
asked me how long my journey would take
and when I would return.
I set a date that was acceptable to him,
and the king agreed that I might go.

I asked the king further: “If it please the king,
let letters be given to me for the governors
of West-of-Euphrates,
that they may afford me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah;
also a letter for Asaph, the keeper of the royal park,
that he may give me wood for timbering the gates
of the temple-citadel and for the city wall
and the house that I shall occupy.”
The king granted my requests,
for the favoring hand of my God was upon me.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R. (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
Though there our captors asked of us
the lyrics of our songs,
And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
“Sing for us the songs of Zion!”
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
How could we sing a song of the LORD
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand be forgotten!
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
If I place not Jerusalem
ahead of my joy.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!

Alleluia – PHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 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.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Hesitation

Saint Francis of Assisi – Memorial

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.” Luke 9:61-62

Jesus’ call is absolute. When He calls us we ought to respond with complete submission of our will and with an abundance of generosity.

In the Scripture above, God willed that this person immediately and completely follow Jesus. But the person hesitates saying he wants to go and first say goodbye to his family. That sounds like a reasonable request. But Jesus makes it clear that he is called to follow Him immediately and without hesitation.

It’s certainly not that there is anything wrong with wanting to say goodbye to his family. The family would most likely expect such a thing. But Jesus uses this opportunity to show us that our number one priority must be to answer His call, when He calls, how He calls, and because He calls. In the wonderful and even mysterious call to follow Christ, we must be ready to respond without hesitation.

Imagine if one of the persons in this story were different. Imagine if one of them came to Jesus and said, “Lord, I will follow You and am ready and willing to follow You right now without qualification.” That’s the ideal. And, yes, the idea is quite radical.

In our own lives, we most likely will not receive the radical call to literally leave everything behind immediately and go serve Christ in some new form of life. But the key is our willingness! Are you willing?

If you are willing, you will start to discover that Jesus is daily calling you to fulfill His mission. And if you are willing, you will daily see that His mission is glorious and fruitful beyond measure. It simply comes down to you saying “Yes” without hesitation and without delay.

Reflect, today, upon your willingness to follow Jesus. Put yourself into this Scripture and reflect upon how you would respond to Jesus. Most likely you will see hesitation. And if you see hesitation in your heart, try to surrender that over so that you will be ready for all our Lord has in mind for you.

Lord, I do love You and I do want to follow You. Help me to overcome any and every hesitation in my life in saying “Yes” to Your holy will. Help me to discern Your voice and embrace all You say every day. Jesus, I trust in You.

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