How can one’s freedom be enjoyed?
TODAY is Sunday, the 30th day of June 2019. It is the
5th Sunday for the month and is the 13th Sunday in Ordinary time of the
Catholic Church liturgical and sanctoral calendar.
The Psalm for the day is, “You are my inheritance
This Sunday’s 1st
Reading is from 1 Kings
19:16b, 19-21. It says:
You shall also anoint Jesu, son of Nimshi, as king over Israel. And Elisha, son of Shaphat, from Abel Mehola, you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
Elijah left. He found Elisha, son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah and said, “Let me say goodbye to my father and mother, then I will follow you.” Elijah said to him, “Return if you want, don’t worry about what I did.” However, Elisha turned back, took the yoke of the oxen and slew them. He roasted their meat on the pieces of the yoke and gave it to his people who ate of it. After this, he followed Elijah and began ministering to him.
Today’s 2nd Reading is from Galatians 5:1, 13-18. Christ freed us, to make us really free. So, remain firm, and do not submit, again, to the yoke of slavery.
You, brothers and sisters, were called to enjoy freedom; I am not speaking of the freedom which gives free rein to the desires of the flesh, but of that which makes you slaves of one another through love. For the whole law is summed up in this sentence: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and tear each other to pieces, be careful lest you all perish.
Therefore, I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh! For the desires of the flesh war against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are opposed to the flesh. Both are in conflict with each other, so that you cannot do everything you would like. But when you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
This Sunday’s Gospel is from Luke 9:51-62. It says: As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken to heaven, he made up his mind to go up to Jerusalem. He sent ahead of him some messengers, who entered a Samaritan village to prepare a lodging for him. But the people would not receive him, because he was on his way to Jerusalem. Seeing this, James and John, his disciples, said, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.
As they went on their way, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
To another, Jesus said, “Follow me!” But he answered, “Let me go back now, for, first, I want to bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead; as for you, leave them, and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Another said to him, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me ay goodbye to my family.” And Jesus said to him, “Whoever has put his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not fit for the kingdom of God.”
READ: It is not enough to promise to follow Christ. One must know and be ready for the consequences. Christ does not promise comfort to his followers, just as he does not find comfort in his ministry. Elisha takes the challenge to succeed the prophetic ministry of Elijah. We cannot follow our master if we have no freedom.
REFLECT: Think about yourself as follower of Christ. What kind of follower are you? Are you trying to grasp Christ’s frame of mind? If you think everything is alright with you, there are no hassles when you practice your religion, think again. Something might be wrong. You must experience discomfort if you follow Christ.
NB: Our heartfelt thanks to the Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc., publisher of the book 2019 Bible Diary. It is from this publication that we are sourcing the Words of God we are sharing with our readers every Sunday.