13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Kings 19:16, 19-21
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
The journey through Galilee is now finished, and Jesus “sets his face to go to Jerusalem”. One-third of Luke’s entire Gospel are places within this travel narrative. Jesus is resolute and single minded, an indication to the disciples of what lies ahead. Today’s passage is a collection of stories and incidents on the way. In the first incident, Jesus invites his disciples to respond not with violence but by a continuation of the mission in new venues when faced with rejection, “shaking the dust from their feet”. The temptations around the use of power will face the disciples in the future and indeed will always face the church. However, Jesus’ emphasis is on God’s all-encompassing love.
Though the passage sounds like it is about discipleship, perhaps it is. I think the heart of the passage is neither the road of discipleship nor Jesus’ heroic courage in facing the cross. Instead, it is a single mindedness of purpose that is prompted by God’s profound love for humanity and all the world. Jesus’ concern is universal and is rooted in forgiveness. Those who would embrace and be embraced by the radical love of God made known in Jesus, and his cross must necessarily see that this love is contrary to all human conceptions of love.
How will we embrace and be embraced by this love?
Fr. Giltus Mathias CP is a member of the Passionists community at St.Brigid’s Marrickville.