Reflection for June 26, 2022 – 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time

June 30, 2022 | By Bishop Roy E. Campbell, Jr.

He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem. I will follow you wherever you go.”

The Pastor’s Thoughts!

Sometimes when we receive a call from someone to follow them, we believe we still have time to complete whatever we are doing.  This was Elisha’s response to Elijah’s call, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother good-bye, and I will follow you.”  Elijah was patient, waiting for Elisha to follow him.  Elijah told Elisha to go to his parents if he wanted to, but Elisha was wise enough to understand the urgency of Elijah’s call.  He gave his livestock as food for his people around him and followed Elijah.  Elisha immediately listened to Elijah, accepted his call to follow him, and acted upon that call. 

Sometimes we know the call we receive is urgent and requires our immediate response.  In today’s Gospel Jesus’ call to His followers is urgent, to listen – hear the Word of God, to accept – receive the Word, and to do – to act on the Word they have accepted.  That is what Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, working in us, tells us today.

Jesus was determined to head for Jerusalem to do the will of His Father.  That meant He had to suffer, to die and then to rise from the dead, to bring eternal salvation to all people.  Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He called people to hear Him, to accept His message and to act on what He taught them.  Jesus had an urgent message.  Hear Me NOW!  Accept Me NOW!  Do as I command NOW!

Elijah did the same in calling Elisha.  He called him NOW, not after he had the time to say goodbye to his parents. 

St. Paul tells us that our call from God is a call to freedom, freedom from the slavery of sin, not freedom to do anything that we please.  When we accept this freedom that comes from our Baptism into the Body of Christ, we accept our call to act upon this freedom.  To do what this freedom calls us to do, is to live a life of holiness.

God calls us to strive for a life of holiness by loving God with our whole being and by loving others as we would want others to love us. We do this when we are open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He will lead us in giving ourselves completely to God, by giving ourselves completely for each other, just as Christ gave Himself completely to God, by giving Himself completely for us.

This is the complete self-giving that ten seminarian (Transitional) Deacons, did on June 18, when they were ordained into the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, answering His call to hear, accept and live as ministers to His flock.  Complete self-giving is true love.

– Bishop Roy Campbell

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