Gospel Reflection Tuesday 26th Week Ordinary Time (3 October) – The determination of Jesus
Today, Anne O’Brien, reads from the Gospel of Luke (9: 51-56) in which Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, sending messengers on ahead to a Samaritan village to get things ready for him. Anne notes, the Samaritan village in this passage does not welcome Jesus and his disciples. Historically, there was a lot of animosity between Jews and Samaritans, so the rejection was quite predictable because of the religious and cultural tensions of the time. This Gospel shows Jesus’ determination. It marks a turning point in Jesus’ ministry as he “resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” This journey was quite significant because it was on the way to Jerusalem that Jesus would eventually face his crucifixion and fulfill his mission to save humanity. James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, react to the rejection by suggesting calling down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan village. This demonstrates a misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission and his teachings of love, forgiveness, and non-violence. Jesus responds by rebuking them for their vengeful suggestion. His rebuke underscores his message of peace, reconciliation, and love even in the face of rejection. After this incident, Jesus and his disciples continue their journey to another village. The rejection does not deter them from their mission. Luke ‘s Gospel today serves to emphasize Jesus’ determination to fulfill his mission in Jerusalem, the challenges he faces on the journey, and his teachings of non-violence and love even in the face of rejection and hostility. It illustrates the contrast between the disciples’ initial reaction and Jesus’ message of peace and forgiveness. In closing, Anne invites to pray that we adhere to his message of peace and forgiveness: God of mercy and compassion, may your unfailing grace bear fruit in our lives. Help us to live in such a way that we may draw to the knowledge and love of Christ all people of goodwill and help us live out Jesus’ message of peace and forgiveness. Amen.