Gospel Thought for Today 23rd November: Memorial of Saint Columban, abbot

Gospel:  Luke 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples 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.”
He said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

St Columba was always on the go. After spending about five years studying in a monastery on the island of Cleenish in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland he moved to a monastery in Bangor where he became a great teacher. Though he stayed there for many years, he felt the call to spread the Gospel to the people in the European continent who have fallen prey to barbarians. When he and his companions left Bangor, they had no fixed plans. However, Columba would preach wherever they went. The people were inspired by their way of living. This reached the attention of the king who convinced the missionaries to settle in eastern France where they established a community. The monastery became a centre of worship and learning. Additional houses were established later. Columba continued his missionary apostolate by travelling through France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. He settled in Bobbio, Genoa, Italy where he established his final monastery. In today’s Gospel, Jesus made it clear to His followers that there is no looking back once they decide to follow Him. St Columba gives us a very good example of how it is to be a disciple. He struck a balance between work and prayer. It is only through God’s grace that he was able to overcome whatever distracted him. This also holds true with us.

  • How do you overcome distractions from following Jesus?
  • Are you an on the go Christian? Why or why not?
  • What makes you fit for God’s Kingdom?


Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. With St Columba we ask You to “kindle our lamps that we may always shine in Your presence and always receive light from You, the Light Perpetual, so that our own darkness may be overcome and the world’s darkness driven from us.” Amen.