First reading 1 Kings 19:16,19-21

Elisha leaves the plough to follow Elijah

The Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go, you are to anoint Elisha son of Shaphat, of Abel Meholah, as prophet to succeed you.’
  Leaving there, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 15(16):1-2,5,7-11

O Lord, it is you who are my portion.
 
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
  I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
  it is you yourself who are my prize.’
 
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
  who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
  since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
 
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
  even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
  nor let your beloved know decay.
 
You will show me the path of life,
  the fullness of joy in your presence,
  at your right hand happiness for ever.
 
 

Second reading Galatians 5:1,13-18

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free

When Christ freed us, he meant us to remain free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. My brothers, you were called, as you know, to liberty; but be careful, or this liberty will provide an opening for self-indulgence. Serve one another, rather, in works of love, since the whole of the Law is summarised in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you go snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community.
  Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is totally against such a thing, and it is precisely because the two are so opposed that you do not always carry out your good intentions. If you are led by the Spirit, no law can touch you.
 
 

Gospel Luke 9:51-62

Jesus sets out for Jerusalem

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.’
 
 
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Following Jesus always

As Jesus and His disciples set off for Jerusalem, they went into a
Samaritan village. The Samaritans in that village did not welcome Him.
James and John reacted in anger, “Lord, do you want us to call down
fire from heaven to burn them up?” Jesus, however, reprimanded them
and simply went off in another direction. Jesus’ mission was not of
violence and revenge but peace and love. This is something that we, as
His disciples, must continue to follow. Instead of retaliation, we bring
reconciliation. Instead of reacting, we respond with peace.
 
As they went on their way, three young men approached Jesus with the
desire to follow Him. The answers of Jesus to them show that
discipleship has a cost and demands total commitment. Today, we need
to examine our following of Jesus and ask Him for the grace to follow
Him as to how He wants us. Let us never be afraid of committing
ourselves to Jesus, but open our hearts to Him and have more trust in
Him.
 
 
Questions for reflection:
How can I follow Jesus at this point in life?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.