Daily Reflection – 12/9/19
When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 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?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.( Luke 9: 51-56)
This Gospel offers still another directional about that which it takes to be a true follower of Christ.
James and John are so indignant at the Samaritans for rejecting Jesus that they actually seek vengeance. Now you have to admire their faith here. They have no doubt that they can actually do this. God had filled them with power to heal and to cast out demons. The problem was with their attitude and that they completely misunderstood Jesus’ mission.
Jesus didn’t want them to call down fire. Jesus did not come to destroy but to save. The issue here is of a judging spirit.
As Christians we are called to be kind and gentle, not resentful of those who oppose us. Yet how often do we “call down fire” on those with whom we disagree instead of praying for them and gently instructing them in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth?
How often in the parishes I have served have I seen “pillars of the community” dissolve into something else when they impose their judgement of others and their true inner compass is revealed.
Think about it. How can you possibly walk to the cross with Jesus when you have a judging spirit? The roadway of discipleship is the road of the cross. The purpose of the cross was salvation for man, not judgment. All who reject that cross will be judged, but we are not the ones to do the judging.
Prayer of The Day
“Heavenly Father, keep my mind fixed on the surpassing joys stored up for me in your kingdom. And let me be willing to put up with all the suffering, hardship, and pain that may come my way in serving you.”
Howard Marshall writes: “Those who would follow him wherever he goes must be ready to share the homeless lot of the Son of man, to place discipleship above the claims of family and duty, and to persevere to the end. The commitment required is absolute, and goes beyond that of a pupil to a rabbinic teacher, or of an Elisha to an Elijah.” What stands in the way of you following Jesus today?