The impression one gets when reading about Sodom and Gomorrah is that they were about the worst possible examples of places of depravity and sin that the world has ever seen. However, here Jesus insinuates that there might be worse consequences for those who deliberately refuse to accept the offer of salvation. This sends a bit of a shiver down my spine when I think about it. In fact, I think that this is what Jesus’ words are designed to do – namely help us realize that we cannot afford to delay our response to the Gospel. As Paul tells in the Second Letter to the Corinthians 6:2, “Now is the acceptable time; today is the day of salvation.”

It is all a question of whether or not we are willing to accept the conditions of discipleship. It is never going to be easy to be a disciple to anyone. As the root of the word tells us, it will require discipline. Unfortunately, discipline is something that gets a lot of bad press these days. There always seems to be some new gadget or remedy that promise to help us lose weight and/or solve all our problems with no pain and little effort. Sorry, but if you believe any of this then you have been sucked into the lies of the world. These potions and methods that advertise themselves as something that is almost too good to be true are exactly that – too good to be true. Sorry once again, there are very few things in life that are worth having that do not cost us anything in return. There is always some sort of pay-off. If you want to lose weight then you have to cut back on the food intake and increase the amount of exercise. There is no other way to do it!

It is no different with being a Christian. If we want to follow Jesus then we must be willing to embrace the call in its totality and not just choose the good-feeling bits and leave the discipline and trials to others. Jesus has shown us the way in all of this. The question is whether or not we have the courage to follow! The apostles followed; the saints have followed too; I guess that it is my turn to take up the banner of the cross and live the life of the Gospel so that those who will follow me will have my life, as imperfect as it may be, as an example to follow.

What is my greatest fear about embracing the call to follow Jesus wherever He may lead me? Am I willing to surrender it to Him”

Lord, you have called many to lay down their lives in imitation of your example. Some have responded well; many have not. Grant me the grace to be counted among the former and not the latter.