Free and determined in the service of the Kingdom!

“Let the dead bury their dead. You go and announce the reign of God”


Every Sunday, La Croix Africa takes up the commentary taken from the missal “Prions en Eglise Afrique”, published by Bayard Afrique. On this Sunday, Father Jean Louis TINDANO, invites us in his meditation, to be free and determined in the service of the Kingdom.

To engage freely, but with determination for the Kingdom: this is what the Word of God suggests to us. In the first reading, Elijah calls Elisha to succeed him as prophet. He leaves him free to answer. However, Elisha makes a radical commitment. His actions show that he has no intention of going back. He abandons his field, immolates his plow oxen and cooks them with the wood of the team. Then he puts himself at Elijah’s service.

In the second reading, Saint Paul reminds the Galatians that Christ gives them the precious gift of freedom. This freedom invites them to walk under the guidance of the Spirit of God, doing good and avoiding evil. Freedom should not be an excuse to live selfishly. It must lead the Christians of Galatia to love each other more. And as a manifest sign of this mutual love, they are invited, while being free, to put themselves voluntarily at the service of one another.

In the Gospel, Jesus prepares to give his life out of love for men. His face determined to face passion, he courageously set out on the road to Jerusalem. During his journey, Jesus announces the gospel while leaving free those who do not want to welcome him. It does not impose itself with violence. However, he offers those who want to follow him a demanding commitment. It is actually an emergency that takes precedence over the duty to bury his father or say goodbye to his family.

All those who want to announce the reign of God are invited to overcome fear and hesitation to commit themselves definitively. This radical commitment can be proposed by Jesus because he himself sets the example. He is not content to make speeches to convince those he calls to follow him. He shows them the example to follow. He who has no place to lay his head because of the proclamation of the gospel, he can credibly tell his listeners that he who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not not made for the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 9,62). Today’s texts suggest a path for the development of our countries, for an in-depth evangelization of communities or for the search for authentic religious and priestly vocations. This path consists in educating to freedom and to a radical commitment: to propose the values ​​of the Gospel or of the nation with all their requirements by people who live them; leave full freedom to the faithful and citizens to assimilate these values ​​and forge deep convictions; allow convinced people to find within themselves the energy necessary to be salt and light in their living environments.

Jean Louis Tindano, Priest of the diocese of Fada N’Gourma (Burkina Faso)

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Free and determined in the service of the Kingdom!

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