Today's gospel reading (Luke 9.51-62) tells of three would-be disciples who all state their eagerness to follow Jesus but whom all also couch that willingness with apparently more pressing needs. Over and over and over, we read their responses to Jesus' call on them. "I'll follow you, but..." And over and over and over, Jesus mildly chastises them for their lack of commitment and faith.
Many times, we find ourselves in the same situation. We want to journey with Christ, yet the cares and concerns filling our limited time and resources force us to make priority decisions about what we will do and what we will leave by the wayside. Like the potential disciples in this account, all too often we want to try to have our cake and eat it too by putting off matters of faith faith until we finish up the worldly things we think are essential. Jesus reminds us of what our priorities must be.
As Basil the Great instructs, "A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honorable it may appear, if it slows us ever so slightly in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God" (Basil the Great, Concerning Baptism).