Gospel Reflection – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C – Luke

The road we travel has been a theme much used in literature, poetry and storytelling down the ages. We are fascinated by the notion of being drawn down a particular, unique road in life, and how we come to it in the first place.

Nobody has a perfectly straight road. Not even Jesus. Our journey is a craggy one, full of love and hate, pain and joy, temptation and strength, weakness and trials, light and dark. And this – light and dark – is the theme of most storytelling ever known. This is because we, too, are full of light and dark.


We are all on that complex journey.

We may not be quite so resolute as Jesus was when he took the road to Jerusalem. We sometimes quite simply end up on a road, not quite knowing where we are going. But that does not stop us taking Jesus’s example and living a Christian life as well as we can.

Our faith, and not our circumstances, IS our road. Whatever else happens, wherever we end up, is largely secondary. It is a wonderful thing to have a long-term plan in life, but many of us have no such strategy. Even when we do, it rarely works out like we imagined. It is a little like jumping in to swim in the sea, leaving the beach in one place, and returning to it a mile down the beach. We are taken, carried, by life, and we cannot imagine where we will go.

Throughout Jesus’s life, the will of the Father reigned supreme. It informed all of his works and deeds. And so, with us, the love of God should be our stalwart support, whatever we encounter, wherever we wash up.

So, our career or our friends or our dreams or are not our road, but Jesus. He is our path in life’s struggles. The path is one of faith, of trust, of humility. Whether CEO or homeless, student or teacher, HNW or living hand-to-mouth, our road in Jesus is a royal and blessed one, and the beginning of eternal life, if only we would allow it to be so.


The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke

As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, he resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said,
‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?‘
But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.

As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him,
‘I will follow you wherever you go.’
Jesus answered,
‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’

Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me‘, replied,
‘Let me go and bury my father first.’
But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’

Another said,
‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good-bye to my people at home.‘
Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.