Day 2: A Daily Invitation

BY BENJAMIN SMYTH | February 15, 2024
Today’s Readings

College can be a sacred time for people. It is a time to explore interests, engage across differences, and encounter questions of vocation. For the past seventeen years, I have had the privilege of walking with students during this beautiful, but sometimes rocky, time in their lives. My work within the Chaifetz School of Business at St. Louis University, where we strive to be the business school “Where Mission Meets the Market,” has taught me that college students often find themselves at the intersection between competing desires. On the one hand, they can desire a life of security through a lucrative job and income and with a clear roadmap to success. On the other hand, they can experience a longing for a life of service and community which is not always secure nor is the way forward always clear. While not always the case, these two movements can compete, leaving them frustrated and even experiencing a sense of paralysis. 

A Daily Invitation
I can imagine that the disciples were experiencing a similar internal dynamic as it became clearer to them what following Jesus would require. They must, Jesus said, deny themselves, take up their cross daily and follow him. While Jesus’ invitation can seem daunting, he also reveals the key to being a faithful follower. By focusing on the daily choices of discipleship we can learn that each new day is an opportunity to hit the “refresh” button, to both acknowledge our failings and to find renewal for the next step of our journey with God.

As we enter the Lenten season, what are some areas of your life where you are being challenged to daily follow Jesus? How can focusing on the daily dynamics of discipleship invigorate your own efforts to work for a more just world?

4 replies
  1. sonja
    sonja says:

    I am challenged daily to hold the Palestinian people in the loving embrace of God and trust He will not abandon them. Jesus lived forty days in the desert. Did he exist solely on the breath of God in that time?
    When people have no food and water how can we nourish them? We can imagine them receiving the gentle fragrances of plants wafted to them by angels, with the embrace of angels wings for warmth, when they have no shelter.

  2. Materesa
    Materesa says:

    the presence of an invitational thought ready for me in my mailbox is a gift. I look forward to this Lenten season.
    with gratitude

  3. bob
    bob says:

    Since I am in a much later phase of life than most (88), I still share the daily choices of my good angels and my not-so-hot angels. Those nsh angels would have me moan and groan about my infirmities. Yet, my better angels would have me seek out anyone in this entire world that I can help TODAY. A letter to an old friend, a donation to JRS, etc. But, there will always be that choice, every day, throughout the day, of that which brings us closer to God and that that don’t. Easy to choose. Harder to do.


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