Jesuit Father Éric Kambale presents us with a meditation with the readings of the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time of liturgical year C.
First reading: 1R 19, 16b.19-21
Psalm: Ps 15 (16), 1.2a.5, 7-8, 9-10, 2b.11
Second reading: Ga 5, 1.13-18
Gospel: Lk 9, 51-62
Dear brothers and sisters,
On this thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time of liturgical year C, the word of God invites us to follow Christ freely and promptly. Our affirmative response to the call to follow Christ cannot be postponed until an uncertain tomorrow. It is every day, every moment, that we must truly follow Christ by our way of being.
The first reading taken from the first book of Kings (1R 19, 16-21) tells us about the choice of Elisha as successor to the prophet Elijah. As Elisha devotes himself to his work in the fields, the prophet Elijah throws his coat to him. Elisha immediately understands the meaning of this gesture of the prophet. And us, what degree of attention do we pay to daily events that sometimes seem trivial to us? It is through the small gestures of each day that the Lord speaks to us through an Elijah who can be a friend, a brother or a sister, a relative or even a person who is not very familiar to us. What is certain is that God speaks to us. It is up to us to listen to him and do what he asks of us.
Elisha leaves his field and his oxen to serve the Lord behind his new master, Elijah. He will no longer be behind oxen but behind a man, Elie. By his abandonment, Elisha gives us an example of freedom with regard to material goods to prefer only the service of God. It is not that material goods, which the field and the oxen represent, are bad. On the contrary, Elisha’s work allowed him to live with dignity. And in many ways, the scriptures emphasize the work by which man must live. It’s all about priority. To God must always belong the first place.
So, dear brothers and sisters, if our possessions, our work begin to distance us from God, or downright to take his place, it is time to reflect and engage in deep discernment in order to know if this is really what suits us. Because God must always remain the priority of priorities. And this primordial choice of Christ is made in freedom as the second reading from the letter of Saint Paul Apostle to the Galatians suggests to us (Ga 5, 1-18).
The Gospel according to Saint Luke (Lk 9, 51-62) addresses the same question of being a disciple. While some set out to follow Christ, others are explicitly called by him. As much for some as for others, what counts is to be a disciple. However, being a disciple of Christ has requirements. To the first who proposes to follow Christ, the latter presents his modest living conditions: “Foxes have burrows, birds of the sky have nests; but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head “. This sentence of Christ shelters us from any trap of easy living of the Gospel. To follow Christ does not mean that we will not face the difficulties of life, but rather that by facing them with him, we will emerge victorious.
The other two people who want to follow Christ, whom the evangelist Luke presents to us, are attached to family relationships. They have the merit of caring about their families. But the following of Christ assures us of a relationship that is no longer just biological, but spiritual. The best thing to do for our families is therefore to bring them to Christ so that beyond the biological level we all belong to the great family of Christ’s disciples.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray for our families so that they may be the first small communities of Christ’s disciples and that they always give him first place. Amen.
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Meditation for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Following Christ – Vatican News
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