LUKE 9: 51-62
HIS WORDâ€¦JESUS SAID TO ONE, â€œFOXES HAVE DENS AND BIRDS OF THE SKY HAVE NESTS, BUT THE SON OF MAN HAS NOWHERE TO REST HIS HEAD.â€ HE SAID TO A SECOND ONE, â€œFOLLOW ME… LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD. BUT YOU, GO AND PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF GOD.â€ AND HE SAID TO A THIRD ONE, â€œNO ONE WHO SETS A HAND TO THE PLOW AND LOOKS TO WHAT WAS LEFT BEHIND IS FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD.â€
my words…Brothers and Sisters, the gospel for this 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time is a very beautiful reminder for all baptized Christians and especially for those who are in the religious life of their basic missions in following Jesus. The three people who wanted to follow and are called to follow Jesus are personifications of the three virtues required in following Jesus; namely, SIMPLICITY, DISPONIBILITY, and AVAILABILITYâ€¦
Simplicitymeans to do away with unnecessary luggage in life that would obstruct our following to and doing Jesusâ€™ mission of saving the whole wide world (www.com). It entails our lifestyles, value systems, materialistic and even hedonistic cravings in life. Jesus â€œhad nowhere to lay His head…â€ (Lk 9:58); no house, no cars, no extra baggage, but He simply relied on the hospitality and generosity of friends. Disponibility means the capacity of being â€œdispatchableâ€ or being placed anywhere at any time = to be â€œdisplaceableâ€ by prioritizing always the mission of Jesus over other worldly things and values. This is the disposition of being â€œevereadyâ€ for a mission mandated by the authority in response to an urgent need; â€œLet the dead bury their dead…â€ (Lk 9:60). This is the exercise of ones total â€œhumilityâ€ and total â€œsubmissionâ€ to Godâ€™s will for Christâ€™s mission. In Military terms, it is â€œobey first before you complain.â€
Availability means to be free from inherent attachments to worldly relationships and material values; â€œNo one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God…â€ (LK 9:62). It also means total focus and attention on the mission by warding off emotionalisms, attachments, involvements, and other hindrances to the mission.
Brothers and Sisters, the Church has institutionalized these virtues for the professed religious; and they become the constitutive elements of the Three Evangelical Counsels or Vows of POVERTY, OBEDIENCE, and CHASTITY (Celibacy). They become the values of the Kingdom which Jesus powerfully preserved at the moments of His three temptations in the desert; namely, a) the temptation of the flesh or appetite = â€œLust of the Fleshâ€ (Lk 4:3-4) versus Chastity; b) the temptation of riches and wealth = â€œLust of the Eyeâ€ (Lk 4:5-8) versus Poverty and Simplicity of Life; and c) the temptation of power and honor = â€œLust of Lifeâ€ (Lk 4:9-12) versus Humble Obedience.
Brothers and Sisters, not only the religious, but all of us are called to follow the values of Jesus and the values of the Gospel. For it is in truly following Jesus and His Good News that we gain eternal life.
THE CALL IS TO BEALWAYSSIMPLE, DISPONIBLE, AND AVAILABLE FOR JESUS AND HIS MISSION… (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)