Theme of the Sunday: When God Calls. The abundance of “vocations” in the Church, during periods when a vocation is held in high esteem, should be looked upon with some suspicion. The readings of today describe some so-called “vocations.” The first reading describes how Elisha responded to the call of Elijah. It was during the time that Ahab and Jezebel ‘were persecuting believers. The gospel describes the Christian life as a journey undertaken to follow Christ. The goal of the Master is not to triumph, but to sacrifice himself in Jerusalem. Along the way he meets people who ask, or are invited, to join his group. Jesus is not interested in having a large number of followers. What he does is tell the person what is entailed in following him. The second reading tells us that people must be free to follow Christ or not. The disciple is not bound by any law except the law of love.
FIRST READING 1 Kings 19:16b.19-21
In those days: The Lord said to Elijah, “Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place.” So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was ploughing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” And he returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah, and ministered to him.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 16:1 -2a and 5.7-8.9-10.11 (R. cf 5a)
R. It is you, O Lord, who are my portion.
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord.”
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
you yourself who secure my lot. R.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord before me always;
with him at my right hand, I shall not be moved. R.
And so, my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my flesh shall rest in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to hell,
nor let your holy one see corruption. R.
You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand, bliss forever. R.
SECOND READING Galatians 5: 1.13- 18
Brethren: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
The word of the Lord
ALLELUIA 1 Samuel 3:9c; John 6:68c
Alleluia. Speak, Lord, for your servant hears; you have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 9:5 1-62
When the days drew near for Jesus to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them: And they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; ‘but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one Who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The Gospel of the Lord.