June 30, 2013: 13th 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.” (Luke 9:51-62)
In the Good News for today, Jesus uses a “rebuke,” or a scolding to teach his friends that he is not about revenge or destruction. Isn’t it always such a great temptation “to get even” with someone who has hurt or rejected us? However, when we keep our focus on Jesus and see how he responded to persons who did not accept him, we can redirect that strong desire to get back at the person who has been unkind to us. In this case, Jesus simply kept on walking toward Jerusalem where he knew God was going to ask him to suffer.
In what ways can we or I be a source of peace rather than conflict for someone who has offended us?