leaving everything to follow You

Jerusalem Alley by Joshuasy from Pixabay 
 
Agreeing to lose everything for you, O Christ,
in order to take hold of you,
as you have already taken hold of us,
means abandoning ourselves to the living God.
Centring our life on you, Jesus Christ,
means daring to choose:
leaving ourselves behind so as no longer to walk
on two roads at the same time:
saying no to all that keeps us from following you,
and yes to all that brings us closer to you,
and through you, to those whom you entrust to us.
 
Brother Roger, 1915 – 2005, Swiss monastic, founded the Taizé Community
 
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You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. 
The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

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to follow you on the road to Jerusalem

Walking the Jesus Train /  Zeromancer44, CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons
 
Servant Christ,
Help us to follow you on the road to Jerusalem,
    to set our faces firmly against friendly suggestions
    for a safe, expedient life;
    to embrace boldly the way of self-offering,
The way of life given for other’s gain.

Litany of the Disciples of Christ the Servant Andhra Theological College, India
 
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Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, 
“We are going up to Jerusalem, 
    and everything that is written by the prophets 
    about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 
He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. 
They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 
    they will flog him and kill him. 
On the third day he will rise again.”
 

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diligent submission and obedience

image Joseph and Mary traveling the Bethlehem
 
We look to the example of Joseph and Mary 
    who responded to the decree of Caesar Augustus to be taxed,
    obediently placing themselves in subjection under him.
You are our sovereign Lord, the true Augustus Caesar, 
    the one whose kingdom increases and has the power to bless us.
May we diligently come to the place where we can truly pray:
 
“O my God, you only are my Creator and Lord!  
I cast myself down to be entirely subject to your holy will,
    with all that is within me or pertains to me.
Here is my heart, my soul, my body, my spirit.
Here is all I have and am; 
    I cast it all down and offer it as a sacrifice to you, O Lord,
    to make it genuinely submissive to you.
If before now I have resigned this to the world, 
    or if now I have walked according to my own will, oh, not any more, 
    for from now on all that I am is to be subject to your will.
Renew this decision day by day more and more,
    and make me willing and able to follow you in all things, and to be obedient.”
 
Jakob Denner, 1659-1746, German Mennonite pastor and author
 
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In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
 

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