When I was reading to prepare for mass tomorrow, these were some lines that stood out for me. I will explain:
In the first reading: “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.” (says Elisha to Elijah). This sounds very much like a foreshadowing of what happens in the gospel today. Elisha wants to follow Elijah – to help him – to please him – but something – or someone is holding him back – a very human response, as we become attached to people and even things sometimes. Should we be? Can we be attached to things and people and effectively serve God? As long as we walk this planet, it will be an ongoing inner struggle. The Spirit can help us with this.
From the Psalm: “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence…”
Of course we will be filled with joy in the presence of the Lord when we get to heaven. I am so happy to be a Catholic, because I get a foretaste of that joy each time I receive Jesus in Holy Communion. He guides my path and fills me with joy each time I sit with Him in adoration. Do you feel that joy when you receive him? Have you made a holy hour? It’s really awesome!
From the second reading: "But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love... You shall love your neighbor as yourself." I teach my students that freedom is NOT the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not hurt anyone. This is what the media tells us today, and it's a big fat lie. Freedom is a gift from God that allows us to choose the good over the bad, the right over the wrong, life instead of death. Freedom is a right to serve as Jesus served when He washed the feet of His disciples. It's living God's commandments that makes us free - free to be who God created us to be. From the gospel: He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem... I'm not really sure what I think about this, I was just interested in Luke's choice of words. Jesus was "resolutely determined." I love that. I guess I'm a bit hard-headed, or resolute about some things. I just don't usually think of Jesus like that. “I will follow you, Lord, but first... How often do we effectively tell Christ this with our actions - when we fail to start our day with prayer, when we watch a mindless movie instead of praying the rosary we know Mother Mary has been tugging at our hearts to pray, when we rush out of mass, when we don't take the time to instruct/encourage our kids in the faith as we should? (o.k., now I'm feeling guilty!) Dear Lord, forgive me for the times I put other things or people before You. You mean everything to me. I adore You. I praise Your Holy Name. Help me to be more fervent in my desire to please You and to follow You. Help me to love You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Help me to be resolutely determined to love others and to spread the Good News with the way I live my life. Fill me with Your grace to overflowing, so that I may share Your light with all those with whom I come into contact. Thank You, Father, for the beautiful gift of freedom. Bless and protect those who have fought for freedom in our world, and for those who fight still. Lord, show me the path to Life in You, and fill me with Your peace and joy. Amen.