Today we honor St. Jerome (340­-420), the learned priest-monk and Doctor of the Church, for translating the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate). We also honor the fiery and intense scholar as the patron saint of people with difficult personalities.

Speaking of difficult personalities—Jesus certainly doesn’t make discipleship sound easy in our Gospel reading!

And that’s the point: God’s ways often are contrary to our human ways.

Following Jesus is not glorious or comfortable (the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head). In fact, it requires faith (let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead) and dedication (choose Jesus over even the best of human priorities).

Following Jesus requires us to put a hand to the plow and to keep our focus on the future. It may be a hard row to hoe, as the saying goes, but isn’t building the Kingdom of God worth it?

—Jeremy Langford is the director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits, founding editor of JesuitPrayer.Org, and author of Seeds of Faith: Practices to Grow a Healthy Spiritual Life ©2007 Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA.