Gospel Reflection by Father Doug Harris - 30th June, 2019

Gospel Reflection ....

Gospel: Jesus “resolutely” makes the decision to go to Jerusalem.

He goes to Jerusalem with one purpose in mind.

To suffer and to die.

The word “resolutely” in the original Greek can be translated as “he hardened his face” or “his face suffered,” a metaphor meaning determination to overcome something extremely difficult.

(Our Lord obeys His Father’s will to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die and he obeys with all his determination, with all his heart).

This is not an easy thing to obey.

Jesus was performing many miracles and many lives are being Blessed in over abundance.

The people want to make Him King.

Then God tells Jesus to go to Jerusalem where He will be rejected, scourged and crucified.

He obeys with total submission (with ‘resolution’).

Jesus inspires us when we are asked by God to make a sacrifice or to die to our will.

How obedient are we? Do we obey ‘resolutely?’

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus passes through a Samaritan village.

He intended to bless them by His presence, love, miracles etc.

However, because Our Lord was a Jew, he was rejected by the Samaritans.

Therefore, James and John are angry with the Samaritans and ask:

“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”

Jesus rebukes James and John.

Here Jesus reminds the Apostles that his way is always love and non-violence.

We are to ‘give our lives’ for our enemies.

Our Lord lived what he preached.

He was crucified in order that the ones who crucified him would be Blessed as much as possible.

The second part of today’s Gospel appears to be different from the first part.

Three times people approach Jesus to be his follower – on each occasion they are rejected.

For example, one man says to Jesus: “Let me first go and bury my father.”

Jesus replied, “Leave the dead to bury the dead.”

On another occasion a man says to Jesus: “Let me say farewell to my family at home.”

Jesus replies, “No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what is left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus wants us to put Him first in our lives.

If we love Him above all else God will Bless us at least a hundred-fold.

When God calls us to follow Him, or to make a sacrifice, He gives us the Grace to do so and He Blesses us over-abundantly.

Not everyone who is called by God answers the call.

The rich young man in Mark’s Gospel (10:17-22) turned his back on Jesus’s Call.

The young man had kept all the Commandments since his youth but when Jesus asked the young man to sell all he had and then follow Him the rich young man turned away from His God.

He wanted to follow Jesus, but he did not have enough generosity or self-lessness to put Jesus before his material wealth.

Imagine what would have become of that young man if he had said yes to Jesus and no to his wealth?”

He would have been a follower of Jesus.

He may have been a priest or missionary bringing many to Jesus.

Who knows how powerfully God would have worked through him in terms of Grace?

How many gifts God may have given him – gifts of preaching, healing and prophesying. Some saints levitated, bilocated.

Some cast out demons, raised the dead.

There is no limit to what God wants to do in our lives.

He is completely or totally committed to satisfying His Infinite love for us.

He proved that by His death on the Cross on Calvary.

We as a Church, that is each of us, are going through a time of crises or Calvary;

it appears as if the Enemy is going to win.

To counteract that, God is raising us up by equipping us with the gift of Himself,

forming us to be copies of Himself, no longer possessing a human holiness but the holiness of God Himself, like Our Blessed Mother, full of Grace, full of the Holy Spirit.

This is why we are called to go on bended knee in unceasing love and unceasing prayer before our Lord, present with us today, in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is Our Lord Himself, the source of all life and grace.

Therefore, by our prayer in Our Lord’s presence in the Eucharist we will receive the grace to overcome all evil in our lives and every evil in the world, culminating in the restoration of God.