When the days for Jesus to be 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.
The time has come and Jesus has made a resolution. Unfortunately this resolution is rejected by the Samaritans. The Lord's disciples refuse to accept this rejection and their anger is aroused and they pray that God may accept not only their righteous anger but also the proposed solution (destruction). It is right, Jesus will rebuke them and put them back on the right path, a path of the Cross, which will lead them to the resurrection.
Personally I can apply this gospel in many ways.
- Am I able to discern the right moment in my daily life, the moment proposed by God? This discernment will help me to choose and act according to God's will.
- Jesus sent the disciples before Him. He made his disciples participate in his project. Am I able to share and involve others in my project?
- Rejection is a fact of life and how do I accept it? Jesus is looking for another way and am I able to foresee this rejection and accept it?
- Are our solutions constructive or destructive? How do we choose the proposed solutions? What values do we apply to them?
Action of the day: Give attention in your discernment.
«He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem»
Fr. Félix LÓPEZ SHM
(Alcalá de Henares, Spain)
Today the Gospel offers us two main points for personal reflection. In the first place, it tells us that "when the days in which He was to be taken to heaven were completed, Jesus made the decision to go to Jerusalem" (Lk 9:51). The verb that Saint Luke uses means "to complete", "to consummate"; Jesus brings to fullness the time marked by the Father to complete His salvific mission through crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Then He is going to be glorified, "taken to heaven." Faced with this perspective, Jesus Christ "made the decision to go up to Jerusalem," that is, the firm decision to love the Father by carrying out His redemptive will. Jesus dies on the cross saying: "It is finished" (Jn 19:30). The Lord has lived to fulfill the will of the Father, and He has maintained that attitude of faithfulness until death.
This is how we too must live even if we experience opposition or rejection, contempt or marginalization on the road to God because we are faithful to the Lord. Pope Francis says: "True progress in spiritual life does not consist in multiplying ecstasies, but in being able to persevere in difficult times. Walk, walk, walk on and if you are tired, stop a little and then start walking again; but with perseverance."
Secondly, in the face of the Samaritans' rejection, James and John want to call down fire from heaven (cf. Lk 9:54). The Lord rebukes them for their indiscreet zeal. We must remember God's patience with us and be patient with our brothers on their way to God, even if they do not respond immediately to His grace. God wants all men to be saved and has given His only Son on the cross for all. God exhausts every possibility of approaching every man and waits with divine patience for the moment when every heart opens itself to His Mercy.