Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 100: I Kings 19:16.19-21. Psalm 16:1-2.5.7-8.9-10.
Gal.5:1.13-18. Luke 9:51-62:
Journeys are a part of living and we all have journeys to make both for
leisure, family, and work. Luke is the Evangelist we journey with in this
liturgical year, and he is interested in the journeys that Jesus calls us
to make. His Gospel and the Acts have more about journeys than the rest of
the New Testament. He may have traveled many journeys with Paul on his
“missionary journeys”. He then wrote about his own journey. In his Gospel
there is what is called the “journey narrative” which extends from today’s
first verse in the Gospel at Luke 9:51 and will continue till 19:44. Luke
crafts his journey theme both as a literary person and even moreso as an
On Jesus’ most momentous journey up to Jerusalem for the last time in his
life,fixes his eyes and steels his will to go there for what he knows will
be dangerous and may even lead to his suffering and death. It does happen
that way and Luke narrates it in his last chapters that unfold in the holy
city of Jerusalem another symbolic and theologica theme for this master
Gospel writer. A hint of what it means was already seen by his disciples
who made the journey with him. In the Transfiguration this is called an
“exodus” in his sequence of starting and making the final journey (Luke
9:30).This departure (or Exodus in the original of Luke’s Greek) will be
our exodus experience too if we follow Jesus throughout his journey of
We see that the whole Gospel has over fifteen journey passages in which
some of the great parables appear like the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal
Son. His theology of journey may be said to continue to the very end of
chapter 24 the last chapter of his Gospel. Here is journeys with two of
his disciples as they head toward their destination the village of Emmaus.
This offers the Resurrected Jesus an opportunity about teaching what the
journey with him is, namely. a fulfilling of the Scriptures–the mirror of
life for all believing Christians and the Tanakh or the Old Testament for
his own people, the Israelites.
Jesus says to the two disciples on their way to Emmaus, “O foolish men, and
slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not
necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his
glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to
them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” It was then
that their eyes were opened and they realized he was journeying with them
through all of their sufferings and their sadness at his death. They have
finally learned what it means to be disciples of the Lord. “Did not our
hearts burn within us while talked to us on our journey and opened for us
the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32-33).
This Sunday offers us the invitation to continue on our own journeys with
the Lord as did those who followed him up to Jerusalem and those who were
met by him on the road to Emmaus. No matter where we are we are on the
journey God has mapped out for us. Maybe like the two on their way to
Emmaus, our eyes are opened and we see Jesus for the first time and we have
the flame of fire within our hearts through the Scriptures. We then can
make or renew the decision to follow Jesus and make the rest of the journey
with him. We then make a commitment frees us to reorder all of our duties.
Then the sharpness of Jesus’ sayings about following him jolts us into
weighing most seriously our desire to follow him on the way. This is our
Exodus and the beginning of our life with Jesus now and in eternity.
T.S.Eliot gives us the reason for journeying: “We shall not cease from
exploration, and the end of all our own exploring will be to arrive where
we started and know the place for the first time.” Amen.