Gospel Reflections

13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 9:51-62

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Honorine Yamba

Published: June 30, 2019

Read Luke 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. Read More…

In reading the first five verses of our Gospel we see that Jesus is always moving, following his mission, traveling along the way.  Before setting out he sends messengers in advance so as to be secure.  Here, the humanity of Jesus comes into play.  

They set out on the road, but Samaria does not welcome them because they are on their way to Jerusalem.  Injured by their pride, the disciples want to use their power: “Lord, do you want us to send fire from heaven to consume them?”  Jesus responds and reprimands them. He provides them with a lesson and changes their planned route.  By doing this Jesus wants to teach his disciples that power is not synonymous with domination.  It must be used with charity, moderation, humility and humanity.
It has been exactly 59 years since the Democratic Republic of Congo attained its independence – June 30, 1960. This year the commemorative date falls on a Sunday. Our authorities have used their power to subdue the population; to reduce it to a minimal expression.  Power without heart… And many heads of governments act in this same way.
We all have some responsibility in our work and ministries. This does not mean simply local groups, teams, provincial and general.  But for myself, when I reflect upon my own taking on of responsibilities, am I not at times like the leaders of the world?  

The last six verses remind us that following Christ requires renunciation. Three different people ask to follow Jesus and each one receives an appropriate response – a just and sincere response – a response which leaves the questioner with his hunger and desire.  Many questions are asked: Should I?  Shouldn’t I? Jesus respects their freedom.  He helps them to discern, but not to decide.  

As an international congregation and we are aware of a crisis of vocations. What are we doing to attract new members?  What means are we using?  Do we use the richness of our internationality and our diversity as a convincing argument?  

The experience of the apostles is ours; let us stop and reflect so as to respond humbly and simply to the incessant call of God, each one at his or her own pace.

Julie Billiart, whose sainthood we commemorate, knew humiliations of all kinds, even from her own.  Did she use her power as a foundress to crush or avenge?  No. Prayer and confidence in God which were her strong arms.  

Let us pray for one another so that we may become true examples of simplicity and humility in our world where power becomes a sign of domination and vengeance.  

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