Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time June 26, 2016
Reading 1 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21
Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Reading 2 Gal 5:1, 13-18
Alleluia 1 Sm 3:9; Jn 6:68c
- Alleluia, alleluia. Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 9:51-62
Those of us who have lived a while - quite a while – know that 3 words can help us keep going on the journey: Hold on tight! Don’t let go! Stay the course!
These are all ways to admonish and encourage, to challenge and comfort us on life’s path. Life in itself – much less life in Christ – can be rough sledding at times. Again – we older people know this from experience – and have learned to expect hardships and hard times along the way.
Today’s Gospel says that Jesus resolutely set his path toward Jerusalem. He somehow knew this city’s leaders should come down on him hard. We know they did – even leading him to a cruel death.
But for today – we focus on that resoluteness, on that determination, on that strong conviction: “This is what I am going to do. Period. No turning back. My hand is on the plow – forward I go.” And he did so – even though tempted to waver, and drop the whole project. He was resolute. Strong willed. Persistent.
Back to us. Back to me a second. Over the 50 years of my priesthood there were times when I thought – I can’t do it! This assignment seems unfair, too hard! Yet – by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit (who often came in the form of friends/brother priests who would stay the course!) And I stayed with it. God’s grace was always sufficient along the way.
Once Jesus takes us in hand, and once we take Jesus in hand – there’s no letting to! There is only going forward – regardless the trials, the pains, and the tribulations. He will not let us go, not let go of our hand clasped to him … be sure of that.
On your part and mine – we’re back to the beginning: Hold on tight! Don’t let go! Stay the course! Trust in Jesus!
Father Richard Ament