My Dear St. Bernadette Family,
“Burning your bridges” is a popular expression of doing something that does not allow us to go back and change decisions we have made. In light of today’s first reading we might speak about burning your oxen and plow as it is a similar image in the decision of Elisha to become a prophet without an opportunity to go back to the farm.
Jesus tells us that to follow Him, we also must burn our bridges. That is, to follow him must be an absolute decision. We cannot follow Him sometimes or for a while. He points to all the excuses that are used to compromise our decision to follow him. We are challenged to trust in Him and entrust our lives to Him.
Can we see the excuses we use? It is difficult to see. In the gospel, one man says “let me first bury my father.” This seems to be a good thing, until we realize that this means his father has not yet died. It is just an excuse. We do the same thing when we find reasons to not go to Mass, to not visit someone in need, to not read the Scriptures, to not do any of the works of mercy that we have been studying this year.
We see this too in the gospel when the disciples want to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans. Whenever we use force to get our way (or God’s way) we have made an excuse to not follow Him. So, what excuses are your favorites?