Did you get a call?
Yes, we all got a call. The question is, how did we answer? This weekend’s readings are about God’s call and response with commitment.
In the first reading from the first book of Kings chapter 19, Elijah commissioned his successor, Elisha. The name Elijah means “the Lord is my God.” We see in chapter 18 Elijah called God and the fire came down and defeated pagan prophets and ordered them to kill according to the Mosaic Law. When Queen Jezebel heard the news, she was not happy. Fearing for his life under Jezebel’s threat, Elijah fled to the wilderness and prayed for natural death. God sent an angel to feed him, and he met God on Mount Horeb. And the reading for this weekend we see God asked Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor. Elijah has thrown his mantle over the shoulder of Elisha as a sign of choosing him as a servant. Elisha abandoned everything and followed Elijah. In the second book of Elijah 2:9, before Elijah’s death, he said to Elisha, “Request whatever I might do for you before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” While they were walking a fiery chariot and fiery horses came and took Elijah to heaven. Then Elisha succeeded in Elijah’s position and prophetic power.
The Gospel for this weekend is from Luke chapter 9, which is Jesus’ journey from Galilee to Jerusalem through Samaria. Samaritans and Jews hated each other from the time of Assyrian rule. Jews always went around the Samaria, but Jesus went through the Samaria. Jesus was a Jew, and the destination was Jerusalem, Samaritans were not ready to welcome him. James and John, sons of thunder, asked Jesus “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” We read in the first book of Kings 18:38, what Elijah had done in his day, calling the fire down to defeat the pagan prophets, and the second book of Kings 1:10 calling fire to kill King Ahaziah’s captain and company. But in the Gospel Jesus rejects the disciple’s desire to call the fire.
Jesus faces the rejection from the prospective disciple who wanted to postpone their commitment until a more convenient time. Jesus asks his followers a total commitment and detachment. All are called to imitate Christ. Throughout Jesus’ public ministry, he gave us examples of poverty. The spirit of poverty liberates human hearts and enables us to love God and one another. Jesus told the other one who came to follow, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” It sounds discouraging, but Jesus tells them they need of embracing poverty.
We are called to journey with the Lord. Jesus gave us the sacraments to give us grace and strength to make that journey. As mentioned last Sunday, the United States Bishop’s conference invites us to take time to relearn the Sacrament of Eucharist. Last Sunday, we had a Eucharistic procession. I would like to thank all those who took the time in the middle of the day to participate. It was a beautiful opportunity to adore the Lord and give public witness.
We will have other opportunities to learn and participate in adoration and learn in-depth about the Eucharist. FORMED.ORG is a very good tool for learning our faith. There is information in the bulletin and on the website. You can sit at home and watch videos on Eucharist. We all learned and need to refresh and relearn our faith. It is part of our call and journey. When you opened FORMED.ORG you can see a video called Presence. It is a wonderful resource to deepen our faith in Eucharist.