Gospel Reflection June 26 – Msgr. Hendricks
Sunday, June 26
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.”
This passage from the gospel of Luke marks the final journey of Jesus to Jerusalem where he will meet his trial and crucifixion. The intent of the passage is to encourage the disciples of Jesus and those who wish to follow him. The commission of Jesus to the disciples and those who wish to be disciples is harsh at first reading. It appears that the disciples James and John are asking Him to do damage to the ones who refused to offer Jesus hospitality, as they pass through a Samaritan village on the way to the Holy City Jerusalem. This was a historical dispute with the Jewish Samaritans who thought they needed to worship God on a different mountain and not in Jerusalem.
But the real message of the gospel today is one that requires a disciple of Jesus, or one who wishes to be, total and complete acceptance of His message and the will to become preachers of His mission and to be fully committed to the reign of God.
To make the point, 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.” We must always look forward, to look back makes the plow line crooked and ruins the field.
Look forward to the reign of God in your life!