In today’s Gospel,Jesus starts his journey to Jerusalem after his time in Samaria where he was not made welcome because of his destination. His disciples are indignant with his treatment and want to call down violent punishment upon them (remember they have just realized who he is, the Messiah) Jesus rebukes them; violence and punishment are not the disciple’s business, that’s a reserved occupation unto God!
Also, Jesus is rejecting Elijah’s way of dealing violently with those who rejected him in our first reading. Jesus is thus indicating that this new covenant relationship has moved on, grown up as it were, from childish retributional reactions to a more considered way. It is a way of suffering and silence. Jesus is reinforcing that he is not Elijah revived but something greater. Jesus is teaching the disciples and us what he means by taking up one’s cross and following him. For peppered along the way he will be foretelling of his passion and death.
The next few chapters in Luke’s gospel are a collection of Jesus’ teaching to the disciples so that they can carry on his mission after he has returned to his Heavenly Father. These teachings come from a variety of sources. The journey structure and some of the sayings are from Mark’s gospel, some are particular to Luke alone and some come from a source that both Luke and Matthew shared but Mark did not have when he wrote his, the first gospel. This shared source is called “Q” in bible circles because it comes from the German word quelle meaning…source! So our summer of Sundays is going to full of solid gospel teaching as relayed by Luke who has an emphasis on the poor, the lowly and justice.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ