Job 3:, 1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Luke: 9: 51-56
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem”.
How densely packed is that one short sentence in Luke’s gospel. This moment of decision by Jesus to ‘freely enter into his Passion’ and Resurrection, is the culmination of the whole story of the relationship between God and God’s people from Creation to this point. This is powerful!
And Jesus ‘resolutely set his face towards Jerusalem’. Nothing was to get in the way in that journey to Calvary and New Life.
But the first obstacle that Jesus met at that pivotal moment, was the attitude of heart and mind of his disciples. James and John decided that these Samaritans who weren’t going to welcome Jesus, deserved some divine punishment, a bit of ‘fire from heaven’.
But they were rebuked. They were strongly contradicted by Jesus. That attitude doesn’t fit at all for those who ‘journey to Jerusalem’. Jesus came to call sinners, not to punish them. Christ dies for all. Somehow looking down on people who ‘aren’t one of us’, cuts us off from being that community of disciples following Jesus. We separate ourselves from the Body. As Pope Francis suggests: the only time we looked down on others is in the action of offering our hand to life them up.
As church, as disciples of Jesus, we are always learning how to live out that call in our lives.
Fr. Tony has spent his 58 years of priesthood working in Australia and PNG with novices and students who have been called to the Passionist way of life, ministering in parishes, in the giving retreats and in spiritual direction.