Tolerance and commitment to God should take the centre stage in our lives
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
1 Kgs 19:16.19-21, Gal. 5:1.13-18, Lk. 9:51-62. On this Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, the Church invites us to humble ourselves before the Lord and be committed to Him without hesitation. Life teaches us that anyone who looks back on a mission never accomplishes it, but with perseverance, total commitment and focus one will always overcome the distractions and side attractions to accomplish a mission. That is why it is said that "winners never quit and quitters never win." God has called us to mission, we must not look back or quit if we are to remain focused on that call. God is calling us daily and we have to answer Him without hesitation or any form of distraction. Today's first reading describes how Elisha committed himself whole-heartedly to answer God’s call to be a prophet, in spite of his initial hesitation when God called him through the prophet Elijah. The second reading reinforces the message of commitment, as Paul warns that true freedom is not meant to be a license for self-indulgence, but to be a way to show God, ourselves and other human beings our commitment to God and to His service.
The first part of today’s Gospel teaches us the virtue of tolerance as we make our commitment to God. James and John were angry and asked if Jesus wanted them to bring down fire from Heaven to destroy the Samaritans who had refused to receive Jesus as a prophet and allow Him to travel through their village to Jerusalem. The second part of today’s Gospel introduces three potential disciples who offered lame reasons that made Jesus’ call to ministry “impossible” for them to accept, after Jesus had told them plainly what the commitment required and the cost involved. They were found unfit and unprepared to follow Jesus as His disciples. Today, we are challenged to follow Jesus, totally and immediately, without any reservations, by giving priority to Him and His cause and by surrendering our lives to God in humble and dedicated service to others. God’s call comes to us in little ways daily. God wants a spontaneous response to doing something good, family, friends or other engagements should not be an excuse to doing good. Discipleship entails leaving some things which can distract, distrupt, destroy us and focus on the One who calls and the reasons for the call. It is imperative we know that being a follower of Christ or a Christian should take some things from us. We have to let go of worldly desires in order to please the Lord.
May the Lord give us the grace to answer His call daily with total commitment and love and learn to be patient and tolerant in dealing with the weak, the unbelievers and those who treat us badly! Amen!! Good morning and happy Sunday!!!