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.
I wanted to focus on this one phrase in today’s Gospel: “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem.” – it’s very interesting language and I think is a good lesson for us to consider today.
Another translation for that phrase “resolutely determined” is “he set his face”. Words like those make it clear that nothing was going to deter Jesus from reaching that destination – He “set his face”, meaning nothing would distract Him from doing what the Father had given Him to do. It’s the ultimate example of one who totally dedicates oneself to the service of another. Jesus knew that Jerusalem would ultimately be the place of His sacrifice, but He knew what He came to earth to do.
I presided at three Baptisms this past Sunday at my home parish of St Rita’s. Three little ones, newly added to God’s family. I love Baptisms, as they are just universally joyful occasions. In my homily, I mentioned how Jesus was “well pleasing” to His Father, because He followed the Father’s Will – in other terms, He “knew” His job in His Father’s plan, and He set out to do it.
You could even say at that early point in His ministry that He was “resolutely determined” to follow His Father’s plan. That’s what I say to the families of those being Baptized, too – their little ones have a “job” in the Father’s plan. The job of the parents & godparents (and all the people of God, really) is to help those little ones come to know what that “job” may be and to encourage them to do it.
How many things are we ever “resolutely determined” to do? My prayer for you, today, is that you (yes, YOU!) may ask God to show you what your part in His plan is, and that you “set your face” to do your part, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The results, we leave up to God, but the work is still what we do to contribute from our own talents.
Action for the Day:
Take time today to ponder how you can have that “resolute determination” to do the Father’s will in your life. Maybe He is asking you to just do something you may think is small, but never underestimate the power of even those “small” things!
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!