Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for June 26, 2022

Reflection for June 26, 2022

But first ...

Do we follow Jesus   now or after we are good and ready?

by Sister Agnes Fischer

Today’s Gospel doesn’t leave much, if any, wiggle room. It won’t let us turn away from the people and situations that are right in front of us or the future that is coming to us. On the one hand we say, “I will follow you wherever you go.” On the other hand we say, “But first let me go and ...”

It’s easy and simple to follow Jesus, in principle. Love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemy, welcome the stranger … I suspect we are all in favor of love, hospitality, forgiveness, and nonviolence until we meet the unlovable, the stranger who scares us. Then it’s a different story and that story usually begins with, “But first ...”

  • Yes, I will love the other but first let me go and see who the others are, whether they are deserving of love, whether I like them, whether they agree with and are agreeable to me.
  • Yes, I will open my door to and welcome the stranger but first let me go and see who’s knocking, how different they are from me, what they want, what I am risking.
  • Yes, I will forgive another but first let me go and see if they have acknowledged their wrongdoing, are sorry for what they did, and have promised to change.
  • Yes, I will give to and care for another but first let me go and see why I should, what it will cost me, and what’s in it for me.
  • I wonder what our lives and world would be like if we were to love, give, welcome, and forgive without a “but first?”

It would be risky and scary and look pretty crazy. But as we look at the world, read the news, and listen to the lives and stories of others, the world is already risky, scary, and crazy. So what if we took a better risk, faced a better fear, and lived a kinder craziness? And what if we were to let that start with you and me, today, in our lives, and with whoever or whatever is before us?

What if we were to lead with our hearts and not “but first"?


06/24/2022 8:00 am

So perfectly stated, Aggie!! Thanks!

Millie HAYES
06/24/2022 8:35 am

Wow, you nailed it Aggie

Sr. Rose Jochmann
06/24/2022 10:30 am

Thanks, Aggie. A lot of challenges and good examples in your reflection. It is so easy to say "but, first...". May we take the risk to love our neighbor and welcome the the stranger.

Diann Wimmer
06/24/2022 10:35 am

Yes, how well written with much thought for us to consider. Like the "Little Prince": It is with the HEART that one sees rightly.

Thank you for your thoughtful questions.

06/24/2022 1:16 pm

Your vision is surely most relevant and timely today, Aggie ...... All who call themselves 'pro-life' must be willing to take your message to heart, or they are merely noisy gongs and clanging symbols, empty and hollow, without authentic, active, self-giving love.

06/24/2022 7:41 pm

Aggie, your challenge is so "on target" for this Gospel and these days. Such a challenge to balance "What would Jesus do?" with issues which are so complex. Pro-life is so much more than abortion, where does this Court decision leave other rights? Thanks for sharing the struggle.

Sally Ann Brickner
06/24/2022 9:20 pm

Thank you, Aggie. What if I were to follow Jesus with NO CONDITIONS? Maybe everything would be upside down.

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