June 26, 2010


13th Sunday - C (June 27, 2010)
Luke 9:51-62

Jesus' resolution

Most Scripture scholars consider Luke 9:51 the turning point in the Gospel according to Luke. Jesus has finished his ministry of proclaiming the Kingdom of God in Galilee through his words and deeds. That was the first part of his mission.

It's now time for him "being taken up" in order to fulfill the second part of his mission, which is to die on the cross and to return to the Father. And so "he resolutely determines to journey to Jerusalem." He knows what awaits him in Jerusalem, yet he "resolutely determines" to go there.
Jesus has come into the world out of obedience to the Father's will and of his love for humanity. He does that freely. And he now resolutely determines to complete that mission.

That context clarifies the other stories in the passage of Luke 9:51-62.

First, the Samaritan villages reject him "because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem." James and John want to destroy these people but Jesus rebukes them. Jesus does not force anyone to follow him. [1]

Then, there are people who who want to follow Jesus, while another called by him. None of them could, however, because of various reasons holding them back. "Jesus leads the way to Jerusalem and back to the Father." [2] Jesus' disciples must also resolutely determine to follow him to the Father, knowing that there is a cross waiting for them. But that is the only way. There is no resurrection without the cross.

There are many good things in life, but nothing, and nobody, should get in the way of us following Jesus to the God who loves us.

[1] Francis J. Moloney, SDB. The Gospel of the Lord: Reflections on the Gospel Readings, Year C. Homebush, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1991; p. 140.
[2] Ibid., p. 141.

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