26th Week in Ordinary Time – Vincent de Paul
1st Reading: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, “The child is a boy!” Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light? Wherefore did the knees receive me? or why did I suck at the breasts? For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest with kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins Or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver. There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Those whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!
Gospel: Lk 9:51-56
When the days for Jesus to be 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?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.
JOURNEY TO ANOTHER VILLAGE: The hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans is seen in today’s Gospel reading. The inhabitants of the Samaritan village could not welcome Jesus because he was heading to Jerusalem. Due to this, the two disciples of Jesus could not contain it and opted for an approach that would see them exert their power and probably destroy the people, their properties and the entire village. On the other and, Jesus chose another approach, that of passing through another village. At times we are tempted to act in anger. The temptation grows with the amount of power we have at our disposal. At such moments, when emotions are high, we might not pause to give it a second thought. Jesus not only teaches us to think twice, seek a peaceful resolution but also to respect the freedom of the other; everyone must not agree with out point of view.
Prayer – Jesus meek and humble of heart, make out hearts like unto yours.
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD: In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is on His journey to Jerusalem. Today, we see him passing through Samaria where he is not welcome. In this instance, we see the reaction of some of his disciples, a reaction that Jesus fails to encourage. In this world we are travelers, Journeys are hardly smooth. How do we react to the obstacles? In our Christian journey, we shall react positively to obstacles, only if we are led by the Spirit of God. Jesus, in his mission journey, was guided by the Spirit of God. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and so was able to focus on Jerusalem. As Christians we have made a decision to follow Jesus. With this, comes many challenges. We should not allow the spirit of evil to change our course. Despite the challenges, let is focus on Jerusalem-Eternal Life.
OPTING FOR LIFE: After his ministry in Galilee, Jesus takes the resolution to go up to Jerusalem. He could have remained in his home surrounded by his relatives and friends; he could have continued enjoying the initial success of his preaching and healing. Instead, he was committed to his mission: ‘to carry out his work of the one who sent me” (Jn 4: 34), he wholeheartedly go ahead to accomplish his mission. How crucial it is to find the goal in life! A Christian is the one who knows his aim in life. It is important to know what we have to do in life. It is even more necessary to know the reason behind our acts. An aim in life is like a roadmap which orients all our decisions and actions. In moments of difficulty, it will be like the compass which points beyond darkness and uncertainty, as aim of Jesus led him to its fulfillment.