The Gospel according to Luke (9:51-56)
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be “resolute” about following You. I know the way will not always be easy, but I know that You will always be by my side! Amen.
Have you ever seen a particular person’s name or phone number on your “caller ID”, and said to yourself, “I don’t want to talk to that person right now”. Then, you reject the call or let it go to voicemail. It makes me think back all those years before we had anything like “caller ID”. Remember that? The phone would ring and you would have no idea who was on the other end of the line!
Now, think of the story related in today’s Gospel – in particular, the portion where the Samaritan village would not welcome Jesus. You can think of it like they saw his “caller ID” and did not want to pick up the phone for Him. Why did they do that? We are told that it was because of the fact that Jesus was going to Jerusalem, not to Mount Gerazim, where the Samaritans worship. Truly, they reject Jesus, because they don’t agree with Him on that fact.
It makes me wonder.. what if the Samaritans accepted Jesus at this point in His mission? What if they joined Him on His path, ultimately to Calvary? I suppose that would have made the parable of the “Good Samaritan” unnecessary! After all, Jesus would have Samaritans with Him, helping to proclaim Him. It would have been a hard path for the Samaritans to be sure – history tells us that the Jewish people of Jerusalem hated the Samaritans (and it seems the feelings were mutual). But, to see them together would have been an impressive sign of unity.
Maybe it did not happen that way because it was ordained to do so. The Samaritans would not have been ready to lay down their lives for this Jewish rabbi, until they saw His sacrifice. Maybe that was why they didn’t pick up when they saw Jesus’ name on the “caller ID”.
Is there something that keeps us from picking up when we see Jesus calling us? Or, how about when that person who we really don’t want to talk to is ringing us? How do we overcome our own fears or prejudices, and open ourselves for that encounter? We do it by asking Jesus to show us how. He had to open Himself totally. He asks us to open up, and maybe it will be uncomfortable to do so. But, He promises never to leave us, and to continually draw us closer to Himself, and to comfort us with His Holy Spirit.
May we be willing to share Jesus in our days, even when we are not as enthusiastic about who it is on the other end of the “caller ID”. Imagine that it’s Jesus calling, and maybe that will help us to act out of love and to share Him in whatever we do for and with our brothers and sisters!
Closing Prayer: Lord, I love You! Help me to be willing to open myself up and be willing to share You, even when it’s not comfortable to do so. Help me to prioritize Your kingdom and my part in it. Help me to know that Your Spirit is with me, always! Amen.
Action for the Day: Think of someone who has reached out to you, but you didn’t want to talk with them. Ask God to show you how to act in Christian love with that person, being a listening ear for them, and letting them know they are not alone!