First Reading: Zec 8:20-23; Psalm: 87. R. v. Zec 8:23; Gospel: Lk 9:51-56
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them?” (Lk9:54).
The personality of James and John was somewhat revealed by their reaction in today’s gospel. They exhibited an aggressive and intolerable personality. Although they were not the ones directly rejected by the Samaritans; but they desired to send down fire to consume the city. One can imagine what they would have done if they had the power to send fire upon this people. However, the response of Jesus to them was the sound of reason. It is the kind of voice we need especially in our moments of anger and impetuous reactions. And God has offered us this by his gift of reason.
Jesus was denied entry into the Samaritan town because the Samaritans and the Jews were long-time enemies. But in spite of this rejection of Jesus’ offer of friendship by the Samaritans, Jesus loved them still and wished them well. He took them as friends and not enemies. This was obvious by Jesus’ outright rebuke to the ill feelings of James and John towards the Samaritan people.
Tolerance is a virtue; it accommodates human imperfections by recognising that growth is a process. People will not always understand issues from our own perspective. And they are entitled to their own opinions which we must also respect. Jesus wants us to pay attention to this because sometimes we feel that things must always go our own way either by dialogue or by imposition. We can be more accommodating to people not because we feel we can change them but because we believe God can through his grace. Jesus calls us today to tolerate one another not out of pretence or duty but out of love.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to grow in love for one another. Amen.