The Gospel this Sunday is about humility. Christ urges us not to shove ourselves forward in an ambitious way trying to make ourselves out to be better or more important than we actually are. He says that the better thing for us is to be modest and unassuming; and if by doing this you have undervalued yourself, others will surely rectify the situation for you.
The readings today seem to be about salvation and the question of the villager is as relevant today as when it was first posed: Will only a few be saved? And then there is the question behind the question: Will I be saved?
At first glance the extract from St Luke’s Gospel set before us today is probably seen by many as rather distressing and difficult. Quite naturally we want our families to be united and we also believe that Jesus wants the same thing for us. And so to hear him saying that he has not come to bring peace on earth but rather division and that from now on families will be divided three against two, two against three, we find quite difficult and contradictory.
The text of the Gospel presented to us today looks like a mish-mash of different sayings by Jesus put together because they are all on the general theme of watchfulness. The Evangelists didn’t go around with notebooks writing down whatever Jesus said. In the case of Luke, he most definitely didn’t go around following Jesus because he wasn’t there at the time. The first we hear of Luke is in Antioch where he became a disciple of Paul.
Father Alex McAllister SDS
Parish Priest of
St Thomas à Becket