13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 (see 5a)
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
June 30, 2019
Easter ended at Pentecost three weeks ago and we returned to Ordinary Time. However, for the last two Sundays we celebrated two special solemnities, the Most Holy Trinity and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
Today we fully return to Ordinary Time. We pick up with the Thirteenth Sunday of Year C. Our gospel reading today comes from the beginning of a section in Luke’s gospel known as Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem.
It’s called this because Jesus literally is on a journey to Jerusalem but it is more than just a geographic journey from one town to another. Yes, He is going to the city of Jerusalem. That was a journey He made 2,000 years ago.
It is his journey to the Cross.
It is also a metaphor for the journey we are all on. Coming here to worship, we are all on a journey to the heavenly city often referred to as “Jerusalem.” We all seek the same destination for eternity.
Keeping this in mind, the story of Jesus’ journey is not a short story telling us what road He took or where He stayed. The journey encompasses ten chapters, almost half, of Luke’s gospel. On the journey He will continue to cure people and to teach what God’s Law really means for us. He does this to lead us on our own journey.
We are all seeking the same destination, Heaven, but our paths can take different directions.
Jesus sets out on his journey “resolutely determined” to make it to Jerusalem in accord with God’s plan. Are we “resolutely determined” in our journey to the heavenly Jerusalem?
What is someone opposes us on the way? Are we like James and John who wanted “to call down fire from heaven” to destroy those did “not welcome him”? Jesus told them not to do that. We need to share the faith but we are not to force our faith on others.
Are we willing to follow Jesus wherever He goes? Many think it should be simple to follow Jesus but the reality is it can be difficult. Here Jesus says, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
What keeps us from following Jesus on the journey to Heaven? Are we like the disciple who responded to Jesus’s call by saying, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father”? Burying the dead was considered a work of mercy but God must always be first.
Another disciple said, “but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Were they just looking for a quick goodbye that one might expect or they want a long time to take of some stuff first?
Are you ready to answer the call in God’s time or do you expect it to happen when you want?
I see people who are just getting out of school and they want to get their careers established so they focus on that and forget about Jesus. Then, they want to start a family and they focus on their children, which God wants us to, but not at the expense of forgetting about him.
Then retirement comes and freedom of time but then they say, let me relax for a while and then I can think about what God might be calling me to. There’s nothing wrong with resting in retirement but it is never okay to put Jesus at the bottom of the list.
Sometimes we want for something spectacular to happen to know what God calls us to do. However, it is often in the ordinary things of life that God calls us. Elisha was plowing the fields when God called him.
If you are a parent of young children, God is calling you to be a good Christian parent. Made God a daily part of your family’s life. If you are retired, God can call you to serve in the simple or extravagant. You just need to let him lead you on the “path of life.”
God gives us freedom to choose our path. Do we choose the ways of the flesh, meaning letting earthly pleasures control our lives, becoming slaves to sin, or do we seek the ways of the Spirit?
Are we firm in our resolve to make the journey to Jerusalem or do we waffle?
Sometimes it can be hard to make good choices for the journey. When we go on a journey in the car, we rely on GPS. That stands for “global positioning system.”
On our spiritual journey, we need a different sort of GPS, “God-positioning-system.” It begins in regular prayer where we listen to God and letting him lead us.