Revenge seems sweet when people reject or harm us. We feel we are entitled because we expect to be treated well but we are not. The disciples must have been really hurt and offended by the unwelcoming attitude of the Samaritans. It is not easy to be looked down upon in a foreign territory. And so, with Jesus in their company, James and John feel “justified” to urge Jesus to take revenge at this harsh treatment towards them. But Jesus reprimands them instead, implying their plan is not in accord with God’s or Jesus’ ways. If all of us simply act according to our human instincts, what would the world be like? Already as it is, there is so much violence even among Christian or God-believing peoples. Jesus teaches us that violence is never the way to peace; retaliation can only breed more violence. So, let us rather try the more unbeaten path of peace and dialogue. What is our “natural” response to people who are against us? Is it Christian or something else?
FIRST READING • Zec 8:20-23
Thus says the Lord of hosts: There shall yet come peoples, the inhabitants of many cities; and the inhabitants of one city shall approach those of another, and say, “Come! let us go to implore the favor of the Lord”; and, “I too will go to seek the Lord.” Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to implore the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
GOSPEL • Lk 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.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.