Sunday, June 26, 2016

Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

We all make resolutions, don't we?  A favorite thing to do as every New Year approaches is to make resolutions.  A favorite thing to do as January moves ever closer to February is to break those same resolutions!

But sometimes in life we make a resolution that we must fulfill.  It could be a career change, a new home, to really make a lifestyle change.  Perhaps someone is here today because of a resolution to draw closer to God, draw closer to the faith. 

As people of faith, we are called to resolutely draw nearer to our own Jerusalem.

Our readings today speak to us about true discipleship, how to follow Jesus.  In the Gospel, St. Luke tells us that Jesus resolutely determined to return to Jerusalem to fulfill His mission.  This may be an easily overlooked line in the Gospel when we hear things like James and John wanting to annihilate a Samaritan village and Jesus telling a grieving relative let the dead bury the dead.  Yet all of this points to the resolution of Jesus to return to Jerusalem.  Remember last week's Gospel when he asked his followers who do you say that I am?  We may remember that this was the point of Jesus' travels where he turned around to go back toward Jerusalem.  And now he is resolutely determined to return.  Jesus is teaching in this Gospel passage that nothing will prevent Him from perfectly following the will of the Father, even knowing He will face death.  And this determined resolution serves as the ultimate invitation to His disciples to follow Him, even to Jerusalem, and an invitation to us to follow Him too.  Nothing should hold us back, nothing should make us look backwards, thus the instruction about the dead burying the dead and not looking to what is left behind.  For a disciple, following Jesus means Jesus first, in all things and every time.  For a disciple, following Jesus is a radical commitment of complete faith and trust. 

So today, with this Gospel fresh in our minds and alive in our hearts, we must ask ourselves, what is my personal Jerusalem and am I resolutely determined to arrive to get there?  Is there something in my life I need to change to arrive in Jerusalem?  Is there someone I must forgive in my life to arrive in Jerusalem?  Is there someone I can help, physically and spiritually, so I can arrive in Jerusalem?  Do I need to learn my faith more completely to arrive in Jerusalem?  Do I need to spend more time in prayer, learn the Catechism, read the Bible so as to arrive in Jerusalem?  Do I need to love more and do I need to love someone with the love that helps them all the way to Heaven?  Can we sit with this Gospel passage two more times in the week ahead and ask ourselves these questions?  Will we be resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem?  This is a resolution we need to fulfill!

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