There are different responses to Jesus' invitation to follow Him. Jesus initiates the call, and he is waiting for each individual to respond to His call. In today's reading some said to Him that they would love to, but were not ready. It was their personal agenda that stopped them following Jesus. The call was simple, 'follow me', but it specified Whom one should follow. Jesus made the call, and each individual was and free to commit. The level of commitment depends on how much one loves Jesus.
Jesus and His disciples, James and John, went through a Samaritan village. Problems happened because of different expectations. The disciples hoped the villagers would welcome Jesus, while the villagers wouldn't. It was not that Jesus was Jewish, but because He was going to Jerusalem. The disciples got upset and wanted to use violence to show the Samarians how wrong they were.
Jesus rebuked them. God's way was not violence but humility, love and forgiveness. On their way, Jesus met the man, who wanted to follow him, and He told the man that 'the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head'. The implication was clear, to follow Jesus means to be free from worldly attachment. Jesus would not want his disciples to be tied down in one single location. He would prefer them to be free to work for God's kingdom. This is the heart of today's message. First, Jesus would love the people who followed Him without having their own agenda. To serve God's kingdom on earth, one needs to be free from whatever ties him down.
Second, Jesus called them to prioritize their purpose in life. It was to serve God's kingdom first and everything will be given too.
Attachment to any material thing on earth would lose the freedom to work for God's kingdom. To another person, Jesus told him 'Leave the dead to bury their dead'. We don't know whether his father had already passed away or he was still living. We know that all material things have lives of its own. When we lose what we love dearly, we feel like we have been flung into a black hole. Clinging to the world's materials is a deadly mistake. We all need them but must not entirely depend on them.
To another person, Jesus told him that half- way commitment is unsuitable for God's kingdom. To work for God's kingdom one must commit oneself, not half way, but be fully committed. We are the pilgrim people. Doing pilgrimage is aiming to improve one's spiritual journey. Pilgrim people have a destination to reach, and our destination is God, Who has prepared a home for us. In that sense, our true home is in heaven, and our true treasure is eternal treasure. Heavenly treasure is made of love of God, and love of our neighbours, and that is what we bring into God's kingdom. For those who are firmly attached to the material world, accumulation of wealth and power is their way of life. We all need essential things to live on, but must not forget where our permanent home is. We are the pilgrim people and Jesus is our Lord whom we want to be with.
Jesus calls us to detach ourselves from worldly materials and be free to serve God, and God will welcome us into His heavenly home when our pilgrimage ends.