This coming Sunday we return to Ordinary Time 13 C, and more than that we start with the outset of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. In Luke’s Gospel, up until chapter 9, Jesus has been ministering in Galilee and beyond traditional boundaries of Israel. His ministry has largely involved miracle stories, the gathering of his apostles and disciples, and rudimentary teachings about the reign of God.

Now he turns his full attention to the coming Paschal Mystery, and “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” It’s very definitive and shows his strong will. There will be fewer miracles reported on the way, and there will much more teaching, especially now that the inner group has been called and formed.

Luke presents us with the two obstacles facing Jesus. First in the rejection of his invitation from the Samaritans over their self-importance, and second in our attachment to the things of this world and not being attached to the reign of God. It is still the same today. We are inhospitable and distracted.

The final verse in this passage, the hand to the plow saying, is about our commitments and perseverance. It is a saying still recognizable in our largely urban cultures. There are numerous examples of our initial attention to something and our lack of follow through, including the sacraments.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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