When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. 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?"
In the late 19th century, Franciscan friars from my home province in Cincinnati, Ohio, went to minister among the Navajo people in the territories of Arizona and New Mexico. The friars reached the Southwest by train, but their travels around the mission field were by horse, wagon, or on foot. Their adventures on the road in that frontier territory were often quite hazardous. A sudden storm could wash out desert roads. And there were other dangers: One old photo shows a friar in his habit, and seated nearby is a cowboy with a vicious looking six-shooter. Today, my confreres still minister in that same mission field, but they crisscross Navajo land by car or truck like everyone else, including the Navajo people.
Like our missionary forebears, the journey Jesus begins in today’s Gospel was difficult—not only because robbers, deserts, and wild beasts lay along the road to Jerusalem. At the end of his journey Jesus will face crucifixion and death.
In these summer Gospel selections from Luke, our author uses the journey theme to explore what being a disciple means. Your trip to church this weekend might not be hazardous--until you reach the parking lot at least!--but let’s hope you hear loud and clear the challenge to discipleship in our Sunday Scriptures.
The first reading tells how the prophet Elijah was told to anoint Elisha as a prophet when he was plowing the fields using twelve pairs of oxen. Do you think Elisha was a strong man?
Elisha prepared a big meal for all the family and all his people. What did he cook? How did he cook it?
Paul says in the second reading that Christ set us free. What does that mean we should do? Paul seems to think that we will fulfill the whole law of God.
Paul tells us to “live by the Spirit.” Why?
In this week's Gospel, Jesus sets out on a journey to Jerusalem. While traveling, he was turned away by the people in one Samaritan village because he was on his way to Jerusalem. Did Jesus allow the disciples to call down fire from heaven to destroy those people and their village?
When someone said that he wanted to follow Jesus, Jesus discouraged the man by pointing out that it was difficult to do so. How difficult is it to follow Jesus today?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
In the Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests." Make a list of wild animals and look up the names of where they call home.
Jesus talks about going on a journey in the Gospel. Is your family going on vacation this summer? If so, work together to research some interesting places to visit while you're there. If you're not going away, though, look into some places around your hometown to check out.