First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Mt 8: 18-22

Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Whole-hearted Response

In today’s gospel Matthew introduces us to two potential followers of Jesus who express their openness to his masterful ability to teach. Knowing that Christ most often had experienced the hostility of the scribes who held fast to the strict tradition of the Jewish law, it is certainly an amazing reversal to discover one of their members in the position of acknowledging Jesus with the honorable title of Teacher —Rabbi.

With both candidates, Jesus challenges the honesty of their readiness to follow him immediately and not look back. This, indeed, might be a good time for me to evaluate my personal commitment to Jesus. Is it whole-hearted or a bit sluggish? A good question to ponder as I go about the daily ministry to which I have been called by the Lord.

—Sr. Ann Romayne Fallon, O.P. is an Adrian Dominican sister with notable experience in high school and diocesan administration. Currently she provides pastoral ministry to the Dominican community in Adrian MI.


Teach me to listen, O, God, to those nearest me:  my family, my friends, my co-workers. Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.” Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.

Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of me. Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence. Teach me, Lord, to listen.  Amen.

—John Veltri, S.J.