Saturday, June 29, 2013
13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
MEMORIAL, FIRST MARTYRS OF THE CHURCH OF ROME
13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
1 K 19:16-21 / Ps 16: 1-2. 5. 7-8. 9-10. 11 / Gal 5:1,13-18 / Lk 9:51-62
1 Kings 19:16-21
Yahweh said, "you shall also anoint Jehu, son of Nimshi, as king over Israel; and Elisha, son of Shaphat, from Abel Meholah, you shall anoint as prophet in your place. Whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael will be slain by Jehu and whoever escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will let him die. Yet I will spare seven thousand in Israel who have not knelt before Baal and whose lips have not kissed him." So Elijah left. He found Elisha, son of Shaphat, who was plowing a field of twelve acres and was at the end of the twelfth acre. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah and said, "Let me say goodbye to my father and mother; then I will follow you." Elijah said to him, "Return if you want, don't worry about what I did." However, Elisha turned back, took the yoke of oxen and slew them. He roasted their meat on the pieces of the yoke and gave it to his people who ate of it. After this, he followed Elijah and began ministering to him.
Christ freed us to make us really free. So remain firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. You, brothers and sisters, were called to enjoy freedom; I am not speaking of that freedom which gives free rein to the desires of the flesh, but of that which makes you slaves of one another through love. For the whole Law is summed up in this sentence: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and tear each other to pieces, be careful lest you all perish. Therefore I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh! For the desires of the flesh war against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are opposed to the flesh. Both are in conflict with each other, so that you cannot do everything you would like. But when you are led by the Spirit you are not under the Law.
As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. He sent ahead of him some messengers, who entered a Samaritan village to prepare a lodging for him. But the people would not receive him, because he was on his way to Jerusalem. Seeing this, James and John, his disciples, said, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village. As they went on their way, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another Jesus said, "Follow me!" But he answered, "Let me go back now, for first I want to bury my father." And Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them, and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said to him, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say goodbye to my family." And Jesus said to him, "Whoever has put his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God."
What does it really mean to become a disciple, a follower of Jesus? The gospel passage suggests a number of requirements when one is called by Jesus to become a partner in his mission of salvation.
One requirement is to be able to trust fully in God's providence. In the first instance of this person wanting to be a disciple, Jesus tells him that even something basic like shelter is not assured as even the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.
The second condition is even more challenging in that Jesus seems to be rude to someone who feels the responsibility to bury his father first. His response to the man is quite insulting and insensitive. How can the dead bury the dead? Yet, it is only through further reflection that we can somehow see the reason why Jesus made such a remark. Jesus challenges our tendency to rationalize and procrastinate our decisions as our way to justify our actions. In doing so, we miss the message of Jesus who wants to show the urgency in fulfilling the mission of salvation. What is important is the now. There is much to be done to proclaim the good news of the love and mercy of God. Though we respect the dead, their earthly time is over and thus, what becomes important and urgent is what promotes life and the presence of Jesus in our midst.
Finally, Jesus wants his followers to be totally focused on the mission. People cannot be faint-hearted or wishy-washy in their commitment as their progress to be totally dedicated to the mission will be lacking and lukewarm. We know very well how we can be distracted with so many concerns and anxieties in life that are legitimate and reasonable. Yet, when what is at stake is the mission regarding our salvation and it is Jesus who calls us, everything else is secondary. There is some truth to one book entitled: "God is first. You are second. I am third."
All the aforementioned describe the challenges of Jesus to anyone who desires to become his follower. It is indeed arduous and demanding to be companions of Jesus in his mission, but rest assured the rewards are great.
Are we ready to follow Jesus? He is only waiting for our response?
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Elizabeth Lim
- Ditas dela Paz, Toots Monfort, Virginia Hernandez, and Fleur Torres
- Renato Calleja
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Ramon Torres, Pilar David, and Alejandro Lecaros
- Joyce Alba
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Peter Paul Fainsan
- Birthday: Teresita Sim
- Wedding Anniversary: Robin & Angel Roque
- In Memoriam (+): Jose Lorenzo A Tan
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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