What Holds You Back from Authentic Discipleship?

The Lord wants to free us of what holds us back from being the best Christian Disciples we can be.  What is holding you back?

As you can well imagine, as Vocation Director, my main mission is to speak of the Holy Priesthood most often, religious vocations next to that (religious community life and consecrated life – vocations primarily for the work of the Church) and I have occasion when I am preaching to speak about the beautiful vocation of marriage too.  Discipleship is required for any and all of these vocations, as well as a desire to live our primary vocation, that is to be holy; to desire to be with God and close to Jesus Christ in our lives.  All of us, I would suggest without exception have something that holds us back from that.  I know I certain do.  There are days we can see we’ve served God well and we’ve helped bring people closer to Christ by our words or more often our actions by the authentic witness we have given in some way.  Then there are other times or days we may feel like hypocrites because we realize that we don’t or haven’t lived up to our faith in some way or by some action; some indifference or inaction even.  And of course, thanks be to God we have the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to ask the Lord’s pardon, mercy and forgiveness for those times and we truly do make a firm purpose to amend our ways and to try, try again.  How many of us can become frustrated or disappointed with ourselves for what holds us back; our weaknesses or our sins?  I think most of us do.

Today’s Gospel finds Jesus healing a woman of what holds her back in life.  He is challenged by others who quite obviously are held back from their narrow minds and narrow manner of thinking.  They want to restrict or place conditions on mercy.  Today’s Gospel ought to inspire us to realize Jesus wants every single one of us to acknowledge that we need Him and He is more than willing and ready at this very moment to heal us of what holds us back – but we are also reminded that God gives us free will and in freedom we have to desire and actively respond to God – not just go along for the ride.

There may be things that hold us back; but nothing, absolutely NOTHING needs hold us back from authentic witness or true discipleship.  Grace is not refused us, and need we look any further than the Church we are a part of?  Multitudes, numbers beyond our imagining have made it to heaven through the Holy Church which was founded by Jesus and Twelve.  Twelve people, by God’s power made that great a difference throughout the whole world, a world beyond even their own knowing.  Jesus took away what held them back, He did for the woman long suffering.  What does Jesus need to heal you from, or take away from you; that which is holding you back?

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