We are still striding along with Luke as he advises us to listen carefully what Jesus is saying as he continues his walk to Jerusalem and Calvert. For the last several Sundays these Gospel excerpts are sharp, urging us to be forgiving, as in the prodigal son – to plan our lives so as to do good and avoid evil, and warns us not to let wealth dominate our hearts or become the reason for our existence.
Actually, there is a theme through all of this as the liturgical year is trying to condition us for the final scene of Judgment Day, which will be celebrated on November 21st, the great feast of Christ the King. We accompany Jesus in his walk towards Jerusalem. Listen to him with open minds and hearts. His grace will form us into being the kind of followers that will be faithful to him right to the end.
Viva Christ the King!
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Well, we are still walking with our Lord as He continues on his way to Jerusalem. The Church uses the text from the 14th chapter of Luke about the subject of social humility. Prior to the Gospel, the book of Sirach introduces the subject of humility urging us to conduct our affairs with that virtue, as well as being prepared to “humble yourselves the more, the greater you are.” That leads us into that brief excerpt from Hebrews where the sacred author tells us that in making this journey we are being drawn to Mount Zion in the city of the living God. There we will experience extraordinary glory and be awed by God’s power manifested before us.
Humility and awe in relationship to God provides us with good first steps towards the Gospel itself. It tells us not to be seeking the spotlight, not to being on the top of the list or in the best places, but simply to move forward with a clear awareness that in relationship to the infinite power and glory of God we are humble indeed. If we see that relationship between ourselves and God, it should make it easier for us to see those with whom we are sharing life.
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Tomorrow is the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time and for this day the Church has chosen as the Gospel an excerpt the ninth chapter of St. Luke, verses 51 to 62.
The scene has Jesus journeying towards Jerusalem. In this short excerpt, several men came up to him and expressed a strong desire to join his followers. In each case, they had other things they needed to take of first, namely settling things out with their families. Jesus challenged them that he required a solid commitment and that they should not be looking back. While the main point of this brief scene is that Jesus does expect solid and true commitment to his cause, a more important concept is to be found in the overall Gospel of St. Luke. The whole Gospel is about the fact that Jesus set his face to Jerusalem. Time after time throughout the Gospel, the expression will be seen, “And Jesus continues on to Jerusalem.” In other words, the whole Gospel can be summarized by the fact that Jesus’ public life was a journey that was to culminate in Jerusalem with his triumphal entry and then suffering death and resurrection.
All of us are challenged in our own lives to clearly let our ultimate goal and let nothing deviate us from that journey to that goal. For Jesus it was to achieve the redemption of the human condition. For us it is to make sure that we benefit from what Jesus has done for us. Jerusalem is a symbol of our eternal destiny. Let us not be confused by other goals.
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