Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Theme: Decision to follow Christ
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Sunday, June 30 2019
(Lk. 9:51-62) Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus and His disciples encountered rejection in a Samaritan town on their way to Jerusalem. Jesus did not bother to deal with them. He was focused on His coming passion and death in Jerusalem. He seized the opportunity to teach when some people approached Him and pledged to follow Him but with some reservations. He stressed that in following Him, nothing should delay or distract them, including parents and families.
This Gospel was paired with the first reading regarding the calling of Elisha by the prophet Elijah. Tradition allowed Elisha to have a customary goodbye to his parents. Elijah however challenged him and persuaded him not to change his mind. Jesus, and the Jews, aware of the call of Elisha and the existence of the need to kiss parents goodbye, brought the call to its full and essential dynamics. When God calls, even saying goodbye maybe abandoned.
We understand the full import of this requirement when Jesus went as far as saying to “let the dead bury its dead.” For Jesus, even burying the dead comes second to the call to be a disciple. “Dead” may also mean, spiritually, unbelievers of God. Thus, the disciples can leave that task to them. Meanwhile, those who decide to follow Jesus, should not waste any time for some persons or situations in exchange to preaching the Gospel.
God gave everything for us. He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. We are expected to do the same not for God’s sake but for us. St. Ignatius uttered it in his prayer;
“Take and receive,
Oh lord my liberty
Take all my will
My mind my memory;
All things I hold and
All I own are thine,
Thine was the gift
To thee I all resign.”