Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 27, 2010 (13C)
By Fr. Orly Sapuay, M.S.
Sunday Bible Study
Lecturas y Comentarios
Prayer of the Hours
Burning Question: Does God want you to be rich?
"When the days drew near for him to be received up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem."
When Jesus goes to Jerusalem, this means, first of all, that he is resolutely going to face his executioners, those who will put him to death and make sure that, in accordance with the divine plan, the Savior of men is taken away from this world.
But, for Jesus, going to Jerusalem is, above all, the fulfillment of his mission as the one who brings peace to souls, beginning with his own. For, once he is dead, Jesus enters, with his soul, into heaven in order to eternally enjoy true peace, the Peace of God! For Jerusalem means "Vision of Peace"!
Jesus is the great peacemaker par excellence: he came into the world to bring peace, but his own Peace! The Peace of the Lord is that which establishes the soul in a perfect harmony with the body, a body that is entirely dominated by the spirit and that obeys it in all things. This is the Peace of God. It is not the peace of men, the peace of the world, which is never anything other than a relative equilibrium between the intention of not attacking others, provided that they do not attack us, and the intention of not doing too much good to others, for to do otherwise could be taken by others as a sign of our weakness and could be seen as an opportunity to attack us. The Peace of God is not like that of men and the world: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you." (Jn. 14:27)
The Jews and the Samaritans did not have very peaceful relations with each other. They argued, among other things, concerning whether one should worship the Lord in the Temple of Jerusalem or on Mount Gerizim, in Samaria: "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." (Dialogue of the Samaritan woman with Jesus - Jn. 4:20) In fact, Christ comes to resolve all these problems concerning the place of worship, for he comes as a true Peacemaker, giving each person the strength and the grace to dominate his body through his soul and his spirit. To the Samaritan woman, Jesus will answer that, soon, the material and corporeal place where one should worship the Lord shall be the Temple of his Body - that is to say, not only Jesus himself, but also each one of the faithful, each believer, each member of the Mystical Body of Christ called to render glory to God in his spirit and in his soul, which is in him, in his own body. "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father... But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth..." (Jn. 4:21-23).
This is what the Disciples still need to learn and they have to learn fast precisely because they were now about to enter Jerusalem. Truly, they had not yet understood that Jesus came as a bringer of peace to souls and spirits... The Lord wants understanding and harmony, in order to bring about the unity of all in his Kingdom. If some do not want his Peace, one should leave them and go elsewhere to look for men of peace: "When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next." (Mt. 10:23) "And they went on to another village." (Lk. 9:56)
James and John were known as “Sons of thunder.” Many young people (even in ancient times) are sons of thunder for a few years. “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?” they asked Jesus when they were refused hospitality. Ashes: that’s what Sons of lightning usually want to leave behind. I wonder what Jesus said when “He rebuked them.” What would you have said? Could anyone then have imagined them the great apostles that they were to become. Jesus did not expect them to be old men while they were still young. In fact young people who have no fire in them are likely to become very boring and begrudging old people later on.
The pattern is the same throughout. Jesus took people as they were, and through His influence, they were transformed. He led them to the unknown. This is what He does as he and His disciples journey on. As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,“I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” And he continues:
To another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Each of us is called to follow Jesus. The question is how should we do it? the gospel gives us an answer that is simple and certain: Follow Jesus- the brave, the truthful, the loving, in everything, at all times, all our life.