Sunday, June 30, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, June 30, 2013 with Reflections

1ST READING - 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21
16 The Lord said to Elijah: “You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah, as prophet to succeed you.” 19Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.20 Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and I will follow you.” Elijah answered, “Go back! Have I done anything to you?” 21 Elisha left him and, taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel toboil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then he left and followed Elijah as his attendant.
P S A L M - Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R: You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, “My Lord are you.” O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. (R) “I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me.” I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (R) Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; 10 because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. (R)  11 You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. (R)
2ND READING - Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. 13For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. 16 I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what youwant. 18 But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life.
Luke 9:51-62
51 When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, 52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, 53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. 54 When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” 55 Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56 and they journeyed to another village. 57 As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” 59 And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” 60 But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” 62 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.”



I don’t know about you, but at times, I behave exactly like the two hotheads, James and John. Referred to, rather appropriately, as the “sons of thunder,” the two brothers were true to form when they said indignantly, “Do you wantus to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” That was vindictiveness at its best, and at its worst. They probably meant well, for after all, their Master was rebuffed by the Samaritans, whom any true-blooded Jew then did not look too kindly on. The Gospel account is clear. Jesus would not hear any of it. He actually rebuked them.

       I take it they were stopped dead in their tracks. I take it the Lord was teaching them on what it meant to be a loyal follower. Loyalty was a good thing, of course, but obedience to the tenets of discipleship was another.

       As a priest, I have to take a stand on a multiplicity of issues. As a professor of Moral Theology, taking such a stand comes with the territory. It is all part of the package. I cannot stand by idly, while I know that “big ticket items” are being trampled upon, muddled, or lost in the welter ofpartisan politics or sacrificed on the altar of sordid personal economic gain. While I submit a lot of such issues, including and most especially pro-life issues, are intertwined with a train of other big issues like social justice, poverty and business ethics, I am duty-bound by my ordination, and bymy vocation and avocation, to take a stand and take the official side of a teaching Church.

       All these, for one simple reason: I am not the Master. I am not the Lord.  I am but a follower. And although at times, I would rather do a James or a John, and call down “fire and brimstone” from above, I need to do better than to give in to fiery and shallow emotions. I need to take my cue from Him and Him alone. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you usually give in to the human tendency to act on your emotions, especially negative ones?
Lord Jesus, You showed us Your gentle spirit. May we learn from You.

The First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, pray for us.

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