In our first reading today from 1 Kings 19, Elijah appoints Elisha to be his successor and attendant. Elisha says, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.” In the Gospel reading, three people all tell Jesus that they want to follow Him. And Jesus tells them all about the conditions of following Him.
To the last person in today’s Gospel passage, Jesus says, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Once we make that decision to follow Christ, there can be no looking back. Oh, our old ways will be like the sirens in the sea – singing that irresistible song – Come back! Come back! Old friends and habits will call to us – Just one more time…for old times sake!
Resist them! We mustn’t go back! Nor should we look at our past and be filled with regret. What’s done is done. That’s how God sees it. Now is the time to move forward! To discern God’s will and take every step necessary to accomplish it. Now that you have set your hand to the plow, don’t look back. There’s nothing there for you. There is everything where you are going!
Father, give us the grace this day to look forward. Help us never to look back or to go back to our old ways. Amen.