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Do Not Use Force
Gospel Reflection for September 27, 2022
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. (Luke 9:51-56)
In today’s Gospel, we see the disciples ready to misuse their connection with Christ and the power of God. Knowing that they are traveling with someone who wields the power of God and knowing that God has punished man with fire from heaven in the past, the disciples think that Christ would like to punish those who do not accept him. Christ rebukes this notion of a ‘holy war’ and moves on to another town where he will be welcomed. Jesus had told them previously “And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them” (Luke 9:5). If someone will not accept Christ, our job is to pray that they receive the necessary grace. We are not to ‘call down fire from heaven to consume them,’ but to move on and gather in those who will become part of the Body of Christ. Our job is to spread the Good News to those who will listen. The rest is up to God.
Copyright 2022 Jessica Tucker