A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Choosing Whom to Follow

Posted on: February 29, 2016

Through social media alone, we have many choices of whom to follow: actors, athletes, politicians, reporters, and so on. We can choose to receive up-to-the-minute news on their thoughts, opinions, hopes and plans. We can tell the world we liked what we read and even share it with the click of a mouse.

But are we sure we want to model our life and work on those of another person? Are we sure we want to follow that person’s example?

At some point, we all have to choose the path we’ll follow.

Jesus’ disciples knew this well. When Jesus taught his followers, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48*), explaining that “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:56), many of his disciples walked away. And so Jesus asked the Twelve if they would leave as well. But think about Simon Peter’s answer in John 6:68-69:

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

We might admire others’ way of life, their good works, their values, but only Jesus has “the words of eternal life.” As Peter preached to the Council in Jerusalem, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Just as Joshua (see Joshua 24:14-28) and the prophet Elijah (see 1 Kings 18:20-40) asked the Israelites to choose whom they would follow, we have a choice to make: we can follow the path others have taken, or we can follow God and ask him to guide us in the way that we should go.

As we prepare our hearts during the season of Lent, I pray that we would commit ourselves once more to following the Lord.

“(B)ut as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

~ Joshua 24:15

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic Edition.)

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2 Responses to "Choosing Whom to Follow"

I find that following Christ is one of the hardest things to do. He tells us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. What a tough job description. But it’s not impossible. Through the Holy Spirit, we have all that we need to follow Christ to the end.

Thankfully, we have a merciful and forgiving God who knows that it’s hard for us to let go and let him lead us and who is willing to keep helping us find our way back.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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