Tuesday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
your almighty power
mercy and forgiveness.
to fill us with your gifts of love.
to hurry towards the eternal life your promise
to share in the joys of your kingdom.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - Luke 9,51-56
happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he resolutely
turned his face towards Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him.
out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but
the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem.
this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down
fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they
went on to another village.
Gospel today narrates and tells us how Jesus decides to go to Jerusalem. It
also describes the first difficulties which he finds along this road. He
presents us the beginning of the long and hard way of the periphery toward the
capital city. Jesus leaves Galilee and goes toward Jerusalem. Not all can
understand him. Many abandon him, because the demands are enormous. Today, the
same thing happens. Along the way of our community there are misunderstandings
decides to go to Jerusalem”. This decision marks the hard and long way of Jesus
from Galilee to Jerusalem, from the periphery to the capital city. This journey
occupies more than one third part of the Gospel of Luke (Lk 9, 51 to 19, 28). This
is a sign that the voyage to Jerusalem was of great importance in the life of
Jesus. The long walk is the symbol, at the same time, of the journey that the
community is making. They seek to go through a difficult passage from the
Jewish world toward the world of the Greek culture. This also symbolized the
tension between the New and the Ancient which was closing more and more in
itself. It also symbolizes the conversion which each one of us has to carry
out, trying to follow Jesus. During the journey, the disciples try to follow
Jesus, without returning back; but they do not always succeed. Jesus dedicates
much time to instruct those who follow him closely. We have a concrete example
of this instruction in today’s Gospel. At the beginning of the journey, Jesus
leaves Galilee and takes with him the disciples to the territory of the
Samaritans. He tries to form them in order that they may be ready to understand
the openness to the New, toward the other, toward what is different.
• Luke 9,
51: Jesus decides to go to Jerusalem. The Greek text says literally:
“Now it happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he
resolutely turned his face towards Jerusalem”. The expression assumption or
being snatched recalls the Prophet Elijah snatched to heaven (2 K 2, 9-11). The
expression turned his face recalls the Servant of Yahweh who said: “I have set
my face like flint and I know I shall not be put to shame” (Is 50, 7). It also
recalls an order which the Prophet Ezekiel received from God: “Turn your face
toward Jerusalem!” (Ez 21, 7). In using these expressions Luke suggests that
while they were walking toward Jerusalem, the most open opposition of Jesus
began against the project of the official ideology of the Temple of Jerusalem.
The ideology of the Temple wanted a glorious and nationalistic Messiah. Jesus
wants to be a Messiah Servant. During the long journey, this opposition will
increase and finally, it will end in the getting hold of Jesus. The snatching
of Jesus is his death on the Cross, followed by his Resurrection.
• Luke 9,
52-53: The mission in Samaria failed. During the journey, the horizon of
the mission is extended. After the beginning, Jesus goes beyond the frontiers
of the territory and of the race. He sends his disciples to go and prepare his
arrival in a town of Samaria. But the mission together with the Samaritans
fails. Luke says that the Samaritans did not receive Jesus because he was going
to Jerusalem. But if the disciples would have said to the Samaritans: “Jesus is
going to Jerusalem to criticize the project of the Temple and to demand a
greater openness”, Jesus would have been accepted, because the Samaritans were
of the same opinion. The failure of the mission is, probably, due to the disciples.
They did not understand why Jesus “turned the face toward Jerusalem”. The
official propaganda of the glorious and nationalistic Messiah prevented them
from perceiving... The disciples did not understand the openness of Jesus and
the mission failed!
• Luke 9,
54-55: Jesus does not accept the request of vengeance. James and John do
not want to take home the defeat. They do not accept that some one is not in
agreement with their ideas. They want to imitate Elijah and use fire to revenge
(2 K 1, 10). Jesus rejects the proposal. He does not want the fire. Some Bibles
add: “You do not know what spirit is moving you!” This means that the reaction
of the disciples was not according to the Spirit of Jesus. When Peter suggests
to Jesus not to follow the path of the Messiah Servant, Jesus turns to Peter
calling him Satan (Mk 8, 33). Satan is the evil spirit who wants to change the
course or route of the mission of Jesus. The Message of Luke for the
communities: those who want to hinder the mission among the pagans are moved by
the evil spirit!
• In the
ten chapters which describe the journey up to Jerusalem (Lk 9, 51 to 19, 28),
Luke constantly reminds us that Jesus is on the way toward Jerusalem (Lk 9,
51.53.57; 10, 1.38; 11, 1; 13, 22.33; 14, 25; 17,11; 18, 31; 18, 37; 19,
1.11.28). He rarely says through where Jesus passed. Only at the beginning of
the journey (Lk 9, 51), in the middle (Lk 17, 11), and at the end (Lk 18, 35;
19, 1), something is known concerning the place where Jesus was going by. This
refers to the communities of Luke and also for all of us. The only thing that
is sure is that we have to continue to walk. We cannot stop. But it is not
always clear and definite the place where we have to pass by. What is sure,
certain, is the objective: Jerusalem.
are the problems which you have to face in your life, because of the decision
which you have taken to follow Jesus?
can we learn from the pedagogy of Jesus with his disciples who wanted to
revenge of the Samaritans?
kings of the earth give thanks to you, Yahweh,
hear the promises you make;
of Yahweh’s ways,
the glory of Yahweh!’ (Ps 138,4-5)