Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

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 Luke 9: 51-62

“Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem”

Today’s Gospel narrative tells of three would-be disciples who meet Jesus as he was on his way to Jerusalem. So important was this journey to Jerusalem that St. Luke makes it the central theme of a major part of his account of the Gospel. For him, Jerusalem was not simply a geographical destination; it was the place where Jesus’ journey would reach its fulfilment – in his passion, death, resurrection and ascension. “Resolutely” taking the road to Jerusalem indicates that Jesus is entering the arena of his trials with freely chosen determination.

It is not only at the time of his actual suffering that he showed this sense of determination; it was there throughout his life. So what does that say for those who would be followers of Christ? The cost of discipleship, as revealed in today’s story, can be rather demanding. To be like Jesus there will have to be a surrender of security – “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head”. A disciple of Jesus must share his mission and duty to “go and spread the news of the kingdom of God”. And the response to his call must be constant for “no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”.

The cost may seem to be high, the demands may appear harsh, but they are simply the cost and the demands of genuine love. What makes us followers of Jesus is our attachment to him. Our call is not to a set of rules, nor even to a way of life. It is a call for acceptance of an intimate personal relationship with Jesus, an acceptance of his love and an everyday honest attempt to be true to that love.