“Taking the resolute decision to walk the hard way!”
(Based on 1 Kings 19:16-21, Gal 5:1, 13-18 and Lk 9:51-62 – 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C)
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I?
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
These well-acclaimed and much-celebrated lyrical words…
… from the poem “The Road not taken” by Robert Frost highlight the importance of making critical choices in life.
It is our choices that show who we are, far more than our abilities.
It is our choices that determines our success in life, far more than our talents.
The attitude of our life determines the altitude of our life!
The Gospel of Day takes pride in presenting a determined Jesus, who has made a choice-for-life in moving towards the mission of His life.
“When the days for His being taken up were fulfilled, He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51)
The Gospel of St Luke presents the whole ministry of Jesus as a linear journey…
… a movement from Galilee to Jerusalem.
All the events and actions of Jesus are oriented towards Jerusalem.
This verse – Luke 9:51 – signifies a mega shift in the earthly ministry of Jesus.
Jesus leaves the northern area of Israel called as Galilee and moves ahead to the southern area of Israel called as Judea.
Just as the Israelites had the Exodus Event, which marked the beginning of their salvation as a nation…
… Jesus too will have the Exodus Event which culminates in Jerusalem, which will mark the beginning of the salvation of the whole world!
This verse – Luke 9:51 – marks the beginning of the Exodus Event in the life of Jesus.
The verse reads, “… He RESOLUTELY determined to journey to Jerusalem”
The Greek word used for “resolutely” is Sterizo.
Sterizo is a strong word, which means…
… to strengthen and to establish
… to stand firm with one’s decision.
Jesus makes this strong resolution – Sterizo – To embrace the vision and plan of God.
Jesus makes this strong resolution – Sterizo – To be obedient to the Will of His Father.
Jerusalem was the place where he was to suffer and die.
He was fully determined to go and would not be dissuaded;
He went cheerfully and courageously though He knew the things that should befall Him.
The Road to Jerusalem was to be marched resolutely by Jesus!
All of us walk the Road to Jerusalem…
… with its hard challenges and unexpected troubles
… with its spiritual difficulties and luring temptations
… with its doses of unforgiveness and bad temperaments
… with its continual showers of unpleasantness and irritations
… with its allurements to bad habits and hard-to-give up pleasures
Is indeed a Road to Jerusalem!
But unless we make a strong resolute decision to walk through this Jerusalem Road, salvation and victory and happiness can never be ours!
When Jesus decided to go ahead with resoluteness in His decision, He met with rejection!
“…they would not welcome Him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem” (Lk 9:53)
The Jews and the Samaritans were much at loggerheads with each other.
As we see in Jn 4:20, the great controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans was about the place of worship – whether it was Jerusalem or whether it was Mount Gerizim.
So bitter was the altercation between them that the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans, nor they with them (Jn. 4:9).
This is the reality of the world.
When one makes a determined decision for life, one is faced with many challenges.
When one makes a strong resolution for life, one is faced with many oppositions.
Like the disciples, James and John, very often, the answer to this rejection is sought in the form of vengeance and violence and wrath.
It is the easier way.
It is the more simpler way.
… but it is a destructive way!
Jesus answers this rejection with a better and a powerful weapon: self-sacrifice.
The Son of Man came not to destroy, but to save through a call to repentance.
It is the hard way.
It is a the more tough way.
… but it is a saving way!
The answer to life’s problems is not in reacting, but in being pro-active!
Jesus in the Gospel today invites each one of us to have a resolute determination in walking the Road to Jerusalem.
It’s easy to pick up shortcuts and easy roads to find success in life.
But it takes a resolute decision to walk the hard way…
The Grace of God will strengthen and boost us in this hard path…
As the Psalmist says, “It is You, O Lord, Who are my portion!” (Cf. Ps 16:5)
The Holy Bible is a witness to this great saga of great people who have walked this hard path…
… including Jesus.
Two roads diverge at every moment in our life
A road of the easy…and the road of the hard…
Which one shall we travel by?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE MYSTAGOGY OF THE CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM
Baptism signifies and actually brings about death to sin and entry into the life of the Most Holy Trinity through configuration to the Paschal mystery of Christ.
Baptism is performed in the most expressive way by triple immersion in the baptismal water.
However, from ancient times it has also been able to be conferred by pouring the water three times over the candidate’s head. (CCC #1239)