Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on June 27, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Luke, alone among the four gospels, has Jesus take but one trip to Jerusalem. Luke uses Jerusalem as a symbol of Jesus’ work to save humankind, so that when Jesus arrives in Jerusalem in the last part of the gospel to suffer his passion and death and then rise on the third day, Jesus fulfills his mission. The gospel passage today tells us that Jesus resolutely sets his eyes on Jerusalem, that is, he commits himself in deed to his vocation of suffering, death, and resurrection for humanity’s sake.

As this passage from the gospel attests, not everyone who encounters Jesus accepts his message: the Samaritans do not welcome Jesus. But the passage shows Jesus’ compassion. He does not seek retribution against those who will not receive them and even rebukes his disciples for wishing revenge on those who do not welcome him.

As Jesus proceeds on his journey, various people are attracted to following him, but these prospective disciples do not appear to understand the price that attaches to the Lord’s service. The gospel passage suggests that Jesus wants those who will follow him to understand at least three things: that following Jesus requires true sacrifices (The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head), must come before every other duty (Let the dead bury their dead), and require our undivided attention (Do not look to what is left behind.)

Spiritual reading: Only in heaven will we see how much we owe to the poor for helping us to love God better because of them. (Mother Teresa)

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