Reflection for Tuesday, September 30, 2003: 26th week in Ordinary Time.
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"Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"| -- Luke 9-54|| I hope that Jesus' rebuke of James and John was wise and not too harsh. After all, in suggesting that the inhospitable Samaritan villagers be fried in fire from heaven, they're aping the Prophet Elijah.|| In the early passages of the Second Book of Kings, Elijah kills more than 100 of his pursuers, handily calling down fire from heaven to get the job done. James and John must have figured that what is good for Elijah is good enough for Jesus.||Jesus has other ideas.|| He seems bent on nothing less than a radical transformation of human nature. Of course it IS human nature to behave like John and James. They've been rejected along with Jesus. Rejection hurts. They want to hurt back. (If you have never once wished ill on a person who hurt you, well, then, you're a far better person than I am and my hat is off to you. You can stop reading this right now and go on about your day). For my part, I need Jesus to quench the angry fires that flare up in my heart.|| His rebuke of James and John in this passage seems a deliberate effort to differentiate himself from Elijah (remember, some people identified him with Elijah). Instead of calling down heaven's fury on those who reject Him, Jesus quietly pursues His aim -- salvation, peace and NOT destruction.|| He chooses peace, then moves on to another village.|| My prayer today is that the Lord will help me remember that the way to peace is to choose peace for myself and stop worrying about what others are doing. I'd also like to remember that no matter how many times I meet rejection, there always is another village ahead.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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