Weekly Missionary Reflection
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 26 June 2022
1Kgs. 19:16b,19-21; Ps. 16:1-2a,5,7-8,9-10,11; Gal. 5:1,13-18; Luk. 9:51-62
The synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew and Luke) have similar geographical scheme: the ministry of Jesus in Galilee, the journey to Jerusalem and Jesus’ last days in Jerusalem. Of course, each of them has their own characteristic. As an example, Luke prolonged the story of Jesus journey to Jerusalem. Jesus had started the trip in Luke 9:51 and just entered the city in 19:45. So Luke spent 10 chapters to tell the journey of Jesus and His disciples. It’s clear that Luke had a deeper intention than just writing down the journey chronologically. For Luke, the salvation is like a journey, made by God (theology), Jesus (christology) and the disiples (ecclesiology).
First, Jesus first journey to Jerusalem is the symbol of God’s visit to the Israelities, His people. This subject is strongly rooted in the OT. For example: the Lord came to visit Abraham and Sara to save them (through the promise of descendants and land). The Lord came down to see the suffering of His people and then decided to free them (Exo.7:7-8) and walked with them (Leviticus-Numbers). Jesus presented God’s visit to the Israelites, right to the core of their religious life (Jerusalem). God‘s visit through Jesus often got resistance and eventually rejected, so God turned to other nations. Luke developed this subject in the book of Acts, the second part of his book about the salvation history.
Second, this jouney underlined Jesus awareness of the purpose of His entire missions, culminating in His ascencion to heaven (v. 51). The realization of Gods plan in Jesus has reached the final stage, through His cross and ressurection. Therefore, Jesus set His eyes to go to Jerusalem. This expression confirms His resolute determation and commitment to complete His mission. Jesus left His comfort zone in Galilee, where He owned a large community and supporters, to go to the capital, the base of the opposition leaders who opposed Him. The implied message is clear: fame is perilous, as it can make people forget themselves and the purpose of their mission. Jesus becomes a model of a firm and total commitment in our journey of faith to glory, eventhough it has to go through any rejection and suffering.
Third, the story of the journey is the symbol of the journey of Jesus disciples. Every Christian is called to follow Jesus in His journey to the cross and glory. This is not an easy journey. There are many temptation, obstacle and rejection. There is a value to pay. Absolute demand of the Kingdom of God asks us to free ourselves from the bond of the world. Jesus demands us to be totally free from two bonds, which are humanly very strong. First, free from the bond of wealth, like Jesus had nowhere to rest His head (v. 58). Second, free from the bond of family. To bury our parents is the highest obligation of a child. Even this highest obligation is below the top demand of the Kingdom of God. Jesus‘s message is clear: following Him is not a side job, which will be done in our free time. The commitment to Jesus and the Kingdom of God demands us to rearrange the scale of our value priority, job and obligation.
(Hortensius Mandaru Indonesia – Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: For the love of Christian families
We pray for Christian families throughout the world. May they have and experience unconditional love and prioritize the holiness in their daily lives.
For Indonesian Churches intention: For the critical education
May the education institution and family educate the children to be critical and realistic about any false offers and luxuries from social media.