Reflection by Cynthia Brewer Today's Gospel: Luke 9:51-62 Today’s Gospel is packed full of reflective thoughts. There are four different conversations in it, and I can see myself in each of them. What is God trying to tell me? When a Samaritan village would not welcome Jesus because His destination was the despised city of Jerusalem, James and John wanted to call down fire to consume them. What an excessive response! No wonder the two are nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder!” But how many times have I responded excessively to situations, and perhaps with a self-righteous spirit? Maybe I don’t call down fire to consume them, but still, I recognize myself here. The next conversation is with the would-be disciple, to whom Jesus reminds that the Son of Man has nowhere to rest His head. How many times have I turned down opportunities to serve the Lord because of inconveniences? Next, Jesus calls a disciple to follow Him, but the person is concerned with family commitments. Jesus tells him, “Let the dead bury the dead.” What does He mean by this? Those who follow Him and proclaim the kingdom of God are fully alive, and those who put others before Him are spiritually dead. Jesus warns the last hopeful follower that if he chooses to follow Him, he mustn’t look back. I must let go of the past -- the good and the bad. This Gospel is powerful and demanding! Jesus is saying that we cannot place anything before our relationship with Him -- no family member, no possesion, no habit, no comfort, nothing! When I wonder how I can put Christ before my desires, Paul gives me the answer in his letter to the Galatians, “I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh."


When you think of all that the Lord has given you, can you release your control and entrust it all back into His hands, thus placing Him first in your life?


I am called to freedom and can only find it in Jesus; Holy Spirit, please strengthen my spirit to win over the desires of my flesh.
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