13th Week in Ordinary Time
June 27, 2010
The three Scripture Lessons chosen for this Sunday contain two related themes: Vocation and Fraternal Charity. The First Lesson (I Kings 19: 16-21) describes the vocation of the young man, Elisha, to succeed the prophet, Elijah and Luke’s Gospel account (9: 51-62) describes the willingness of a young man to follow Jesus.
However, in both instances there is a hesitation, a reluctance to do so immediately. Elisha, for instance, wishes to bid farewell to his family and the young man in Luke’s narrative wishes to bury his parents before he leaves on his new vocation.
Both examples; however, must be properly understood. Christianity is not advocating the abandonment of our parents nor the display of filial affection. Rather, Jesus wants us to understand that when He calls us to serve Him in that vocation which will be our life’s work, we must do so wholeheartedly and without reserve.
Christianity is reminding us that on one is more important than He; that nothing may ever take His place. In each and every vocation, Marriage, the Single State, the Priesthood and the Consecrated Life, Christianity must always remain at the centre.
We come now to the third Scripture Lesson read a t Mass today (the second in the sequence); it is Paul’s letter to the Galatians. It is related to the other two, from First Kings and Luke, because it speaks about the all-important virtue of Christian Charity. Paul writes:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one
Another, beware that you are not consumed
By one another.
This exhortation, this invitation to live the virtue of charity is essential in every vocation, it is the “adhesive,” it is that which “holds everything together.”
May we be faithful and constant in that vocation to which Christianity has summoned us and may we live it with charity, patience and forbearance.