Sunday, June 26, 2016


{Reflection for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C 1 Kg 19:16, 19-21, Ps 16; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62}
No time to waste! This seems to be the attitude in the readings today. Elisha sacrificed his yokes of oxen, “Then he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered to him.” As Elijah would not accept any delay form Elisha, so Jesus says, “No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Though “The Son of man has nowhere to lay his head”, those called to follow him in freedom must “Leave the dead to bury their own dead.” There is an urgency to announce the good news to the whole world. 

Yes, because the Kingdom of God is close at hand (Mt 3:2). And the response to the call must carry the same sense of urgency. This sense of urgency is embedded in the call because the dawn of the Kingdom in Jesus has become the first in our scale of preference. The Kingdom of God has come so close that it touches every aspect of our lives and is now our highest treasure (cf. Mt 13:44ff).


Therefore, the call to follow Jesus is a call to freedom; a call to achieve our highest aspiration. St Paul describes it in the second reading as an opportunity to love and be servants of one another. “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’” Love becomes the way we sustain the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. It becomes our evidence that we are ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. 

Touched by the Gospel, our hearts burn with love of God along the way (cf. Lk 24:32). Love warms our hearts and gives us a sense of urgency for the beloved. The immediacy of the Kingdom carries our love along! Love is urgent. We should not delay nor postpone our love for our neighbor. The love of God poured out in our hearts impels us to love one another—to forgive them, to tolerate, to help out, etc. Hence Jesus rebuked James and John for trying to call down fire against the Samaritans that opposed them. Revenge is always selfish!

St Paul warns us that self-indulgence slows down and restricts the free flow of love. The result of which is slavery. We must align ourselves with the promptings of the Holy Spirit in order to maintain the frequency of love and the freedom it gives. By calling us to follow Him, “Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Let the love flow;Love is our vocation.

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R

National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Maryville, Ugwogonike,

Enugu, Nigeria.