When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.
When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
When it comes to easing panic and pain, people who love each other are willing to do just about anything to help. The partner racing a pregnant wife to the hospital, neglecting every traffic law imaginable. The older sibling threatening the younger sibling’s high school fling when a broken heart is on the horizon.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’s friends offer to call down heavenly fire and consume people who show him disrespect – in essence, to kill them. Jesus’s answer: “Are you out of your MINDS? We’ll just find another town to visit…”
Love and loyalty can be beautifully reckless, and our desires to help loved ones at all costs comes from a good place. But, as Jesus shows us today, perhaps the better course is to simply remain together. In moments of panic and pain, perhaps we don’t need to fix anything at all, but journey on as one.
—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits. After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.
Teach me to love others the way you first loved me. As I build relationships with others, let them see you in the extent of my generosity, the authenticity of my kindness, and the depths of my love. All of those things are only possible through you, the God who abides with me and calls me friend.
—Published on crosswalk.comPlease share the Good Word with your friends!