Friday, September 30, 2011

Going After Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mt 16:24)

I was reflecting on discilpeship last night and, of the quotes from Scripture that I was given to reflect on, this verse stood out for me.

Self denial and detatchment are two things that I've been trying to get a better handle on in recent times, so when this verse stood out from the others, I assumed that this was the reason why.
However, after sitting with the verse in Adoration, the words "come after Me" struck somethig within me. A dissonance between the words and my life seemed to resound. As though a child were attempting to play a Major Chord, but only had the finger span of a Major 7th.
I was (and still am) familiar with the parable of the Lost Sheep: the Good Shepherd goes after the one Lost Sheep, leaving the 99 others in the field.
But this was something new.

"Come after Me.
"Follow Me, yes; but true discipleship is more than that.
"Come after Me."
As the Good Shepherd goes after the Lost Sheep, so we must seek out Christ. With that ardent love which He has for us, we must love Him.

I don't need to be simply detatched from all that is not Christ, I need to run after Him; to seek Him where He is to be found: not in things of this world, but in Love.
I need to search out every possible way of loving Him more and follow that path diligently, without looking back.

Imagine a mother who has lost her child. Imagine the effort she puts into finding that child.
As she gets closer, her search becomes more and more focused.
So to with my search for Christ. As I seek Him out, look where He is found, I will draw closer to Him. As I draw closer to Him, my seach will become more and more refined, more pure.
Unlike the mother, however, I do not currently have a single minded focus in searching out my Goal. Part of the refining process will be getting rid of all the other goals to focus on the one Goal that matters.
This will involvem a higher and higher degree of detachment, a greater willingness to submit to God's will.

To become a Saint is to conform oneself - or, rather, to be conformed - to Christ in all areas, and supremely to His Pascal Mystery. To become a Saint, I myst strain ahead in the race that has already been won, to the Prize which I have already been given. As an athelete, I must suffer in order to conform myself to the One who has already run, already won, already perfectly conformed His Own Will to that of His Father.

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Mt 16:24)


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