Cycle C

Good News C31c

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

 Luke 9:51-62 New American Bible

Luke 9:51-62 New International Version Bible Gateway

 

The Apostles, James and John were upset because people in the village of Samaria were not very friendly towards Jesus.  Jesus was going to Jerusalem and the Samaritans were enemies of the people of Jerusalem.  These apostles asked if Jesus wanted them to call down fire to destroy the people as Elijah the prophet had done.  Jesus scolded them. 

In the olden days, when the king or queen got angry with someone, they chopped off their heads. Just like King Herod did John the Baptist. This was made fun of in Alice in Wonderland because the Queen was forever saying “Off with their heads.”

 What do you think Jesus would say to you if you said, “This man was not very friendly to me, Lord. Should I call down fire and destroy him? 

 I think Jesus would tell you that you should help save the souls of these people, not destroy them.  When you are angry with someone, it is difficult to think about saving his soul.  Thoughts going through your mind may want to destroy their bodies. You might not ever do it, but the thought might cross your mind.  You need God’s help. You need God to lead you out of temptation and deliver you from those evil thoughts. If you can just remember that if you want to destroy another person’s body, you are doing damage to your soul, no matter where that person’s body goes. 

A company that makes flying discs has quality control.  Someone checks the product to make sure that there is nothing wrong with it.  God put St. Peter at heaven’s gate to do Quality Control to make sure that only Quality Souls get into heaven. Each soul must have gone through this special process called Baptism of the water or Baptism of the Spirit. Each soul must have been forgiven of all of their sins or they don’t get into heaven. When our souls are pure, we light up like lightning bugs in the night. St. Peter just has to put us into a booth, similar to a phone booth made of wood. He peeks through a little hole.  If you light up the whole booth, then you get into heaven. Jesus is our battery power to light up our souls. Because he died on the cross for us, we can get into heaven. Because he died on the cross, God the Father forgives us of all of our sins. Therefore, our souls light up the heavens. When we get to heaven, our lights look like stars to the people on earth.

If someone in your family has died, look up to heaven and say his or her name. A star will twinkle telling you that your loved one is there in heaven waiting for you to join them later.

There is another part to the Gospel today. That is if we are to follow Jesus, we need to do it NOW, not when it is convenient for us. 

          Sometimes you may say I will give money to the church after I do this or before I do that. You are saying, “I can’t do this for you, Lord.  I’ve got other plans.”

 A professor told my college education class, “If you are late with a project, don’t give me an excuse. There is no excuse for being late.” That has stuck in my mind for 40 years or more. 

Don’t give God excuses. Just follow Jesus now and you will light up the heavens with your goodness. Your reward is great. It’s a wise choice full of everlasting joy.  Go for it, Right NOW.        

 

          Say the “Our Father” and thank God for helping you say NO to temptation and YES to following in his path.  Then your soul will light up the heavens with goodness and mercy forever.

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.”

              

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Joan Y. Edwards