The 3rd Person: but first….

In this coming 13th Sunday of Ordinary time, the gospel is taken from Luke. In yesterday’s post we considered two encounters along the way. Today we consider the third: 61 And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” 62 (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 third person, like the first, says that he will follow Jesus. Like the second person, he asks for permission (epitrepo — “let” in vv. 59 and 61) to do something first. In some ways these two would-be followers want to place conditions on their following. “I will follow you, but first….” This third person is asking no more than what Elisha asked of Elijah (1 K 19:20). Jesus demands more of his followers than Elijah did. Jesus points out that the kingdom has no room for those who look back when they are called to go forward. Continue reading

Following

In this coming 13th Sunday of Ordinary time, the gospel is taken from Luke. In yesterday’s post we considered the rejection by one Samaritan village. Today, we encounter individuals who announced their readiness to follow him. They were clearly well-intentioned, but had not realized the nature of the demands the kingdom makes.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” 59 And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied,”(Lord,) let me go first and bury my father.” 60 But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 

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The rejection in Samaria

In this coming 13th Sunday of Ordinary time, the gospel is taken from Luke. In yesterday’s post we looked at the consistent use of travel language by St. Luke. Today we look at one event along the way:On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, 53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. Continue reading

The beginning of the journey

In this coming 13th Sunday of Ordinary time, the gospel is taken from Luke. In yesterday’s post we explored the Elijah-motif of Luke’s narrative. Today we focus on Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem as a march toward exaltation (“to be taken up”) in fulfillment of God’s plan. The earthly journey of Jesus serves also as the framework for the progress of the church in the time after the ascension. We find ourselves on the way toward Jerusalem with the Lord. But the march to glory, as Jesus has already warned, is a path through suffering. The disciples must expect to be treated no better than the Master. The cost of Christian discipleship is clearly stated as the journey gets underway. Continue reading

Elijah

In this coming 13th Sunday of Ordinary time, the gospel is taken from Luke. In yesterday’s post we pointed out that our previous encounter with the Lukan narrative was back at the end of February with the 8th Sunday. We took a brief look back at the events in the Galilean Ministry (Chapters 4:14 – 9:51) in order to provide context for our gospel. As well we introduced some key themes that we will encounter as we travel on with Jesus. Continue reading

From Galilee towards Jerusalem

This coming Sunday the readings return to “Ordinary Time” and reading from the Gospel of Luke. We begin with the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time. In case you were wondering, the last time we celebrated a Sunday in Ordinary Time was February 27, 2022. It was the 8th Sunday and the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The gospel that Sunday was from Luke 6; our gospel this coming Sunday is from Luke 9. Both are with a section of Luke labeled as “The Ministry in Galilee” (4:14–9:50). It is a lot to cover so I will post an outline following this posting. Continue reading