Reflection on Scripture Thirteenth Sunday Gospel C Follow me

By 10:18 AM

 Thirteenth Sunday Gospel C

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him.  

· Jesus’ ministry in Galilee has been completed. Now, Jesus looks towards Jerusalem where he will suffer, die, rise and ascend back to the Father.

· Sending messengers ahead of him was the norm that Jesus used. It was a way of preparing the people for his teaching and ministry.

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. 

· Samaria was a territory between Galilee and Judea. The inhabitants were a mixed-breed of Gentiles and Jews who intermarried after the earlier deportation of the Israelites in 721 BC.

· When Jesus began his Galilean ministry, he experienced rejection by the people of his own town. Now, as he begins his ministry in Judea, he is at once rejected.  In each case Jesus does not retaliate. He just moves on to the places that are open to him. This is the same thing that happens when an individual doesn’t welcome Jesus into one’s heart. Jesus moves on.

· The reason why the Samaritans reject Jesus is because the Jews and the Samaritans were not on speaking terms. Jews considered the Samaritans as Jews who intermarried with non-Jews and who diluted the covenant. To the orthodox Jew, the Samaritans were ritually unclean. Recall the attitude of the Samaritan woman at the well when Jesus asked for a cup of water.

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.

             This thinking of James and John may be the basis why Jesus called them the “sons of               thunder.      

· The disciples act from human motives of retaliation. Jesus expects a disciple to act with the same motivation as the Master: forgiveness and mercy, rather than condemnation and destruction. Can we see ourselves in this situation?

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.” 

· Discipleship under Jesus involves not only following him but embracing the life of total dependency upon the Father for everything. Discipleship involves total dedication.  How easy is that for us?

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.”

· To both Jesus reminds those called that their primary focus must be the Kingdom of God above all else, including family ties. Why would Jesus say this? The Kingdom of God—eternal life—is of greater value than even family ties. Is God first in your life or is something or someone more important to you than God in fact?

· As you reflect on this passage what do you think God is asking you to do in response?  What needs to change in your life?

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