Gospel LK 9:51-62
When the days for Jesus' being 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.
As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."
And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved Spouse. Amen
“Fit for the kingdom of God.” We know what it means to be ‘fit’ but what does it mean to be “‘fit’ for the kingdom of God” ? This week (Friday June 28th) we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The image we venerate of the Sacred Heart of Jesus shows His heart aflame, burning- what is this flame?
This past week, I had the tremendous joy and privilege of being present for the installation Mass of His Excellency Bishop Donald Hying in the Diocese of Madison. In His homily he shared a story of his parents which moved me profoundly When he was a young priest he was present at the deathbed of his mother, a couple weeks before she died. It was a rare moment when he was alone with his parents in the room. At one point in his mother’s suffering, she turned to her husband (Bishop’s Father) and said to him: “Did I love you enough?” Her husband, with a full heart assured her that she had.
These words still move me -enough to share them with you. It seems to me that this is what it is to be ‘fit’ for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps this is exactly what our Lord is speaking of, when he tells us of being “fit’ for the kingdom of God.” If God is Love, then the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of immense Love. It is Love without limit. It is a heart that has said yes to loving all through life. St Paul tells us what this love looks like: “Love is patient and kind, love does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wrong, but rejoices with the truth. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Love Never Fails.” At the end of one’s life, love is the only thing that lasts. What a Blessed moment it will be at the end our lives to be able to look at those around us, to be able to look at Jesus and ask, in all truth and peace; “Did I love you enough?” And to feel deep in one’s heart, with hope and joy, that we will hear: Yes, you loved enough.”
Question: What have I not forgiven? Who do I push away from, or find the movement in my heart retracting from loving another?
“By our actions we tell him that we love Him.” (St Elizabeth of the Trinity)