“Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then Jesus and his disciples went on to another village.” (Lk 9:55)
Today’s Passage: Lk 9:51-56
Meditation: In the gospel of Mathew we find Jesus on his way to Jerusalem turning round and rebuking Peter, “Get away from me Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don’t come from God, but from man.” (Mt 16:23) Peter was rebuked for he was an obstacle on his way to Jerusalem. Why did Jesus then in today’s passage turn and rebuke his disciples James and John? It was really the villagers of Samaria who did not receive him or stop his way to Jerusalem. What the disciples did may be compared to the action of Jesus. But is that correct to say what the disciples did is the same as what Jesus did? It simply reminds me of the two doubts put forward by Zachariah and Mary and God’s response to them; one is seemingly ‘punished’ and the other glorified. One is accepted and the other one rejected. In today’s passage the Samaritan villagers who blocked Jesus’ way were not punished or rebuked but the disciples who questioned the villagers. What is the difference between the actions of the villagers and the disciples? It seems to me that the action of the villagers was not a premeditated one; a natural reaction between the Samaritans and the Jews for ‘the Jews will have nothing to do with the Samaritans’ (Jn 4:9) But this was not the case with Peter or the disciples. They are to be united with him and follow him everywhere in every way possible. John will say, “This is how we can be sure that we are in union with God; whoever says that he remains in union with God should live just as Jesus Christ lived.” (1Jn 1:5) This is also the reason why some of the weaknesses of the sinners and tax collectors were tolerated and of the Pharisees and teachers of the law were not tolerated. (Mt 23) The Lord says, “Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given” (Lk 12:48) Yes, more patience, forgiveness, and kindness is required from the disciples than the poor villagers; from me than from others who have not even known Jesus.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord Jesus, many a time we have compared ourselves with the ignorant ones. Our deeds and words were like that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. But we know today that our vocation is higher than these people not only in our rights but also in our responsibilities of witnessing you and your values. Give us your Spirit and lead us in the right path. Amen!
Greetings: Take courage! God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Tuesday…