By Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.
In today’s Gospel, we see the apostles of Jesus, James and John, wanting to call an airstrike on a Samaritan village. We read, “On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.”
Some of the apostles of Jesus were not so meek and mild. Look at Peter in the Garden of Gethsemani. He took a sword from a soldier and cut off the soldier’s ear. I guess being polite and nice was not a prerequisite for being a follower of Christ. But in today’s Gospel we do see Jesus telling his followers that they must be fully committed to spreading the gospel. A person approaches Jesus and says, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Luke records this exchange:
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus is basically telling people that his mission takes precedence over family, work and other priorities we may have. Nothing must delay Christ’s mission. No one can give an excuse to delay Christ’s mission. As Missionaries of the Precious Blood, are we committed to spreading the Gospel? Do we realize the vital mission we have been given as disciples of Christ?
Parish life is a good example of discipleship with Christ. In the parish we administer sacraments, we preach the Good News, and we sit with people in their pain.
Let us continue to build God’s Kingdom! God needs us working in his vineyard. God bless you all.
Fr. Tony Fortman C.PP.S. Pastor at St. John the Baptist Church Glandorf, Ohio.