, we learn what that means - let there be no distractions, let there be nothing that comes before the Lord.
"As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus answered him, 'Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.' And to another he said, 'Follow me.' But he replied, 'Lord, let me go first and bury my father.' But he answered him, 'Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' And another said, 'I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.' To him Jesus said, 'No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.'"
In our first reading (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21), we hear of Elisha's response to his calling by God and anointing by the prophet Elijah. A young man of significant wealth, he bids his family farewell and leaves everything behind to follow the lord.
"The LORD said to Elijah: 'You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.' Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, 'Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.' Elijah answered, 'Go back! Have I done anything to you?' Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant."
In our Epistle reading (Galatians 5:1, 11-18), St. Paul once again tells, in real world terms, how to live out our calling.
"Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
"But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law."
There is no doubt that each one of us has been called by God to be his disciple, to let nothing in our lives come before serving the Lord and loving one another. What remains is how we discern and respond to that call. God will grant us the grace if we but ask.