13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C June 27th, 2010

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Dear Friends

The gospel of the Thirteenth Sunday of the year tells us:” when the days drew for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem.” (Lk.9.51). Jesus knew what awaited him in Jerusalem. He knew that he will be handed over to the chief priests and the Scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Nothing could turn him away from the cross. For he also knew that through the cross, glory will come. He knew that he will rise again three days after his death. We must also face our crosses, trials and difficulties because we know that through them we shall attain glory.

The shortest way from Galilee to Jerusalem leads through Samaria. Therefore, “he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way, they entered a village of Samaritans to make ready for Jesus; but they did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem.” (Lk.9.52-53). Bitter religious and national animosity existed between the Samaritans and the Jews. The Jews despised the Samaritans as half pagans and avoided contact with them. But Jesus wanted to extend a hand of friendship to a people who were enemies of the Jews. But the Samaritans would not receive him. The great healer and teacher of mankind had to go another way. If they had received him he would have cured their sick, he would have illumined their minds with his teaching. Jesus wants to enter into our soul. Perhaps often we do not receive him and therefore we are deprived of many graces.

The gospel tells us, “When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” He turned and rebuked them.” (Lk. 9.54-56). Jesus never worked a miracle to punish anyone, not even the guilty. Significant in this regard is the detail connected with Jesus’ arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. Peter was ready to defend his Master with a sword and he even “struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear”. (Jn.18.10). But Jesus forbade him to use his sword (Jn.18.11). Jesus even touched his ear and healed him (Lk.22,51). It is a further proof that Jesus does not perform miracles for his own defense.

Jesus came to save and not to destroy, to forgive and not to punish. In the spirit of Jesus we have to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

May God bless you all and have a wonderful summer!

Father Chris