June 30, 2019
by Michael Kavan
Creighton University's School of Medicine
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 99

1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Gal 5:1, 13-18
Luke 9:51-62

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Rediscovering the Corporal Works of Mercy

Today’s Gospel reading by Luke is often referred to as being part of the travel narrative; a journey by Jesus that ultimately ends in Jerusalem with his eventual crucifixion and resurrection. Luke’s passage starts with Jesus' traveling “resolutely” to his destination. Characteristic of his life, Jesus does not take the easy way or shy away from difficulties. Rather than avoiding the route through the more contentious region of Samaria, he decides to move head on. And, as expected he was not welcomed since he was not only a Jew, he was a Jew traveling to Jerusalem. Because of this, James and John ask whether they should call down fire from heaven to consume them. Jesus rebukes them and, in so doing, teaches an important lesson by demonstrating love, as opposed to vengeance, towards the Samaritans. As Jesus’ journey continues, his words to potential followers remind us not only of his love, but also that our journey with him is not an easy feat. We are asked to leave behind what is comfortable to us and to journey into the unknown with little more than our faith. A journey with Jesus involves sacrifice, risk, and a lot of tough decisions. However, if we decide to join him the ultimate reward is great.

As we go through our day, I ask God for the strength to accept His invitation to come follow. Allow me to understand that the journey will not always be easy; difficult days and uncertainties lie ahead. But allow me to understand that I am not alone. Allow me to be open to the Holy Spirit as a guide that keeps me focused on my journey ahead and the importance of loving others as Jesus modeled so well for us with the Samaritans. After all, it is through his love that we gain closer proximity to the Kingdom of God.

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