Gospel Reflection: Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JUNE 26, 2016

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening;

You have the words of everlasting life.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 The Gospel according to Saint Luke 9: 51-62

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him.  On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”  Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

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.”

The Gospel of the Lord

REFLECTION

With this Sunday’s Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 16), we express our confidence in the Lord who will reveal to us the way to true fulfillment and happiness:

You will show me the path to life,

                             fullness of joys in your presence,

                             the delights at your right hand forever.

In all three Scriptural Readings of this Sunday, the way to true happiness is revealed as following the Lord God and His Son Jesus Christ.  For the Gospel, this is expressed as the: Call to Discipleship – being a disciple, a follower of Jesus assures one of true fulfillment and happiness.

However, the happiness that the Gospel expresses is radically different from the gleefulness of the world.  Today’s Gospel follows logically from where we left off our reading of Saint Luke from last:

If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Christian Discipleship to which we are called by our Baptismal communion in Jesus Christ is intimately linked to the way Jesus Himself followed the will of His Father.  Jesus asks his followers to do nothing more than what He already did in His life: He denied Himself; He took up His cross; He gave His life in loving service for His neighbor, you and me!  Therefore, Christian Discipleship is a life of self sacrifice:

Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.

Saint Luke has a literary device that he uses throughout his Gospel to remind us of the self-sacrificing commitment of Jesus, namely the wording that Jesus is: resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.  Over and over, Saint Luke tells us that Jesus is on His way up to Jerusalem!  Jerusalem is the place of martyrdom; the prophets were sacrificed in Jerusalem!  Therefore, Jesus is unwavering in His commitment to be the faithful Disciple of His Father by offering Himself up!

Follow me are the codified Gospel words of Jesus’ invitation.  In Baptism we embrace His words and we spend a life time responding to His invitation – that is discipleship! There are always expectations and presumed demands that can get in the way of fully responding to Jesus.  Saint Luke dramatizes and maximizes the demands of discipleship by providing the expectations of Jesus:

Let the dead bury their dead.  But you, Go and proclaim the kingdom of God; and,

No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God!

Let us end this reflection as we did the reflection last week: Do we believe: whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it!

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

 

 

addiction-support family find-us history grief-or-loss marriage mens storiespng testimonial womens young-adulthood healing our-grounds prayers calendar malvern-live retreats2go plan-your-visit donate