Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

Reflection On The Sunday Gospel

Reflection On The Sunday Gospel

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SUNDAY READINGS To prepare for Sunday Mass it is a good idea to read and give thought to the readings and gospel in your missal or Bible. Here are some questions to ponder. 

First Reading [1 Kings 19.19-21] Elisha left everything to follow the Lord. Is there anything in my life that I would not give up for the sake of Christ? 

Second Reading [Galatians 5.13-18] Is my life guided by the Holy Spirit? I can tell that by the way I behave. 

Gospel [Luke 9.51-62] Many people told Jesus they wanted to follow him and he questioned how serious they were. How serious am I in my decision to follow Jesus?

Once you've laid your hand on the plough, don't look back.

This was the advice Jesus gave to people who wanted to follow him.

Imagine you are ploughing and you want to get the lines straight, neatly parallel to the last furrow you ploughed. If you look back to see how well you've done, then you will certainly make a mess of it. If the line behind you is crooked, never mind - looking back will not make it straight but will spoil the one you are doing now.

If Jesus was preaching today, using a similar metaphor, he would probably say, "When you're driving a car keep your eyes on the road in front. Don't look round while you're driving. If you think you've hit something and turn round to check, then almost certainly you will hit something."

Looking ahead does not mean that you should not change your direction or your course of action.It simply means you are to keep your eyes on Jesus, and that can lead in various ways. If in your past life you have made a mess of it, then just repent and forget. Looking back to your past mistakes, however bad, will only distract you from following the Lord.

When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, Peter who had shamefully denied Christ when he was most needed, was still not afraid to say that he did love Jesus. Focusing on his past behaviour would have distracted him from following Jesus. He would have been thinking of himself, not of our Lord.

Whatever wrong you may have done in the past, don't let that distract you from Jesus himself. When our Lord asks you, "Do you love me?"he is not asking about the past.So forget any wrong you've done and answer as Peter did, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you."

Fr. Michael
Do Unto Others
The Maseta