Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Berbagi Di

Memorial of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The Ethiopian Church, one of the first among the African churches, venerates Saint Michael as its protector.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 9,57-62

As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus answered, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.' Another to whom he said, 'Follow me,' replied, 'Let me go and bury my father first.' But he answered, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.' Another said, 'I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good -- bye to my people at home.' Jesus said to him, 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just begun his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, and the question of how to follow him immediately arises. Just after entering Samaria, some approach and present themselves to Jesus. The evangelist reports the encounter with three people. Their dialogue with Jesus is about following him. In the first and third case it is the people who ask Jesus to follow him, while in the second the interlocutor is called to follow by Jesus himself. The evangelist wants to emphasize that the three responses by Jesus reveal what is needed to follow him and become his disciple. It is remarkable that all three answers relate in some way to the person's relationship with their family and show a dimension of refuge and protection. To the first person who asks to follow him and share his fate, Jesus answers that the Son of Man does not have a place to lay his head. The disciple has to live in the same poverty as the teacher. The second person is called by Jesus directly. When he asks to be allowed to bury his father, Jesus affirms that following him and announcing the Gospel have priority even over the most sensitive family business, like the burial of a father. The Gospel of life comes before what is dead even in our mindset. The third person who approaches Jesus is told that if he wants to follow him he must not have any regrets about the life he has left behind. The life that is gained by following Jesus cannot be mixed with regrets and glances back. The Gospel demands that we abandon our selfishness, our protections, and our traditions so we can choose Jesus as the one Lord of our lives. Following Jesus is doubtlessly a radical and even paradoxical choice. But that is because Jesus' love for us is complete, radical, paradoxical, and unique. We could say that Jesus was the first to live out this radical choice in his obedience to the Father and his plan. Disciples live off the same love that Jesus has for his Father. This is the love that we and the world need to be freed; it is love that defeats even death.