By Jess Yurick

“Follow me.”

Two words. Such a simple statement.

“Follow me.”

one evening, I found myself watching Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man by Rev. Robert Barron. Rev. Barron brought attention to Jesus’ question to His disciples – “Who do they say that I am?” – and discussed the fact that He is the only religious figure to bring the focus on Himself. Most others would bring the focus on the “good path” or the “right way.” But not Jesus.

“Who do they say that I am?”

When I first heard this, I have to admit I was confused. I have always seen Jesus as an extremely humble man, but what humble man brings the focus to Himself? Most of us know someone who is constantly talking about themselves and if we are honest, we tend to tune them out after a while. So again I ask you, what humble man brings the focus to Himself?

A man who is TRUTH. A man who is FAITH. And a man who is love.

Jesus as truth – In the three years Jesus spent evangelizing, not once did He lie. How many of us can say truthfully that we have not lied in three years? Some turned away from Jesus because they could not accept what He said. He gave many directions on and examples of how we should live. To some, this was much too difficult. However, He never said that following Him would be an easy task, only that the reward was great. Being a die-hard Catholic, I can say that so far both of these things have proven to be true. Being Catholic has not always been the easiest thing, but with Christ’s love and the promise of new life, it is worth the challenge.

Jesus as faith – So often we hear about our own faith. We hear what it means to have faith in Christ and how to practice staying strong in our faith. But where did we learn what it means to be strong in our faith? Jesus. Growing up, I always viewed Jesus as someone to have faith in, but not someone who had faith. Without His faith in the Father, we wouldn’t be here. Jesus had so much faith in His Father’s will for Him that he suffered excruciating pain until he died. Would you die for your faith? Would I? Jesus is not only someone to have faith in… He is an inspiration for what faith looks like. It’s tough having a strong faith when things don’t pan out the way we think they should. The good news is, Jesus will walk with us through our struggles and help us reach out to the Father. Our Father. We never have to do it alone.

Jesus as love – I have always been a family-oriented person. If anyone asked me if I would take a bullet for one of my family members, I would answer yes without hesitation. So why do I pause when someone asks if I would take a bullet for my faith? Sometimes it’s hard defending something we cannot touch or feel. Our faith often seems distant and just out of reach. Without a billboard following us around or a soft nudge in the back, we frequently forget that Jesus is with us everywhere we go and His love is real. I challenge you to look at the Crucifix when you need a reminder. Jesus didn’t reason out whether or not dying for His people would be the right decision. His passion and love for us, along with the Father’s will, outweighed any hesitation. He was mocked, spat upon, beaten and killed. He did it out of love. It doesn’t get more real than that.

Jesus asks us to follow Him because He knows that it is the Father’s will. Jesus has never wanted anything less than the best for us because we are His everything. He knows that He is our way to Heaven. That being said, He has never stripped us of our free will. True, Jesus did say “Follow me.” But He also said, “You are either with me, or you are against me” and He left the decision up to us.

What will you choose?