Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Luke: 9:51-62:
As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus 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 goodbye 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.’
It was the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time on 30 June 2013.
Here are the Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day:
1st Reading: 1 Kings 19:16,19-21 (see previous page),
Responsorial: Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11 (see previous page),
2nd Reading: Galatians 5:1,13-18 (see previous page) &
Gospel Reading: Luke: 9:51-62 (see above).
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday 1 July 2001
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. The month of July begins today, which popular tradition has dedicated to the contemplation of Christ's Precious Blood, unfathomable mystery of love and mercy.
In today's liturgy, the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Galatians that "For freedom Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1). This freedom has a high price: it is the life and blood of the Redeemer. Yes! Christ's Blood is the price God paid to free humanity from the slavery of sin and death.
The Blood of Christ is the undeniable proof of the heavenly Father's love for all men, without exception.
All this was well emphasized by Blessed John XXIII, who had a devotion to the Blood of the Lord from childhood, when he would hear the appropriate litany recited in his family. Once elected Pope, he wrote an Apostolic Letter to promote this devotion (Inde a primis, 30 June 1959), inviting the faithful to meditate on the infinite value of that Blood, "a single drop of which can save the whole world from every sin" (Hymn: Adoro Te devote).
2. May meditation on the sacrifice of the Lord, a pledge of hope and peace for the world, be an encouragement and an incentive for building peace, even where it seems almost unattainable. Today my thoughts turn in a special way to Sri Lanka where, on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Madhu, the Catholic community is gathering in prayer at that famous shrine to implore the much longed for gift of peace. The parties involved in the tragic ethnic conflict, which has been sowing violence and appalling atrocities for almost 20 years in that beloved nation, are having difficulty in finding the path of dialogue and reconciliation. A negotiated solution is the only way to deal with the serious issues that are at the root of the present conflict.
May Mary, Mother of Him who redeemed the world with his blood, bless the persevering efforts of all those who in Sri Lanka and elsewhere who are promoting a climate of impartiality and detente, indispensable premises for the achievement of concord and peace.
After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said:
I extend a cordial welcome to the members of the editorial staff of L'Osservatore Romano, who are present today in this Square with their Editor-in-chief to commemorate the 140th anniversary of their newspaper. I thank them for their daily work at the service of the truth, faithfully adhering to the Magisterium of the Successor of Peter. I hope that each one will persevere in the courageous defence of the fundamental human and Christian values, on which all civil coexistence is based, offering everyone the image of a Church which is always open to the world's expectations.
The Holy Father then offered greetings and best wishes in Polish, German and Italian to students as they finish their exams and begin their summer vacations.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Blessed Pope John Paul II, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Saint Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The biblical Readings of Mass this Sunday invite us to meditate on a fascinating theme which can be summed up like this: "freedom and following Christ". The Evangelist Luke tells us that "as the time approached when he was to be taken from this world", Jesus "firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem" (Luke 9: 51). In the phrase "firmly resolved", we can glimpse Christ's freedom.
Indeed, he knows that in Jerusalem, death on a cross awaits him, but in obedience to the Father's will, he offers himself for love. It is in his very obedience to the Father that Jesus achieves his own freedom as a conscious decision motivated by love.
Who is freer than the One who is the Almighty? He did not, however, live his freedom as an arbitrary power or as domination. He lived it as a service. In this way he "filled" freedom with content, which would otherwise have remained an "empty" possibility of doing or not doing something.
Like human life itself, freedom draws its meaning from love. Indeed, who is the freest? Someone who selfishly keeps all possibilities open for fear of losing them, or someone who expends himself "firmly resolved" to serve and thereby finds himself full of life because of the love he has given and received?
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians of Galatia, today in Turkey, said: "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" (Galatians 5: 13).
Living according to the flesh means following the selfish tendencies of human nature. Living according to the Spirit, on the other hand, means allowing oneself to be guided in intentions and works by God's love which Christ has given to us. Therefore, Christian freedom is quite the opposite of arbitrariness; it consists in following Christ in the gift of self even to the sacrifice of the Cross.
It may seem a paradox, but the Lord lived the crowning point of his freedom on the Cross as a summit of love. When they shouted at him on Calvary: "If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross!", he showed his freedom as the Son precisely by remaining on that scaffold, to do the Father's merciful will to the very end.
Other witnesses to the truth have shared this experience, men and women who showed that they remained free even in a prison cell and under the threat of torture. "The truth will set you free". Those who side with the truth will never be slaves of any power but will always make themselves freely servants of their brothers and sisters.
Let us look at Mary Most Holy. A humble Handmaid of the Lord, the Virgin is the model of a spiritual person who is totally free because she is immaculate, immune to sin and all holy, dedicated to the service of God and neighbour. May she help us with her motherly care to follow Jesus, to know the truth and to live freedom in love.
After the Angelus:
From Colombia comes the sorrowful news of the barbaric assassination of 11 Regional Deputies of the Department of the Valle del Cauca, who had been held by Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces for more than five years. As I raise prayers for the repose of their souls, I join in the deep grief of their relatives and of the beloved Colombian Nation, once again ravaged by fratricidal hatred. I renew my heartfelt appeal for the immediate end of all kidnapping and for the restoration of those who are still victims of such inadmissible forms of violence to the affection of their loved ones.
I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for today's Angelus. Today's Liturgy reminds us that to be a Christian means to follow Jesus. He is the Teacher, we are his disciples. May the Lord give us grace and courage so that our life will always be inspired by the words and actions of Jesus. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Rome and a blessed Sunday!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Benedict XVI, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The biblical Readings of Holy Mass this Sunday give me the opportunity to take up the theme of Christ's call and its requirements, a topic on which I also reflected a week ago, on the occasion of the ordinations of the new priests for the Diocese of Rome. In fact, those who have the good fortune to know a young man or woman who leaves the family and studies and works in order to consecrate him- or herself to God know well what is involved, for they have before them a living example of a radical response to the divine call. This is one of the most beautiful experiences one can have in the Church: seeing and actually touching the Lord's action in people's lives; experiencing that God is not an abstract entity but a reality so great and strong that it fills human hearts to overflowing, he is a Person, alive and close, who loves us and asks to be loved.
Continue next page …