Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 30, 2019
In the late 19th century, Franciscan friars from my home province in Cincinnati, Ohio, went to minister among the Navajo people in the territories of Arizona and New Mexico. The friars reached the Southwest by train, but their travels around the mission field were by horse, wagon, or on foot. Their adventures on the road in that frontier territory were often quite hazardous. A sudden storm could wash out desert roads. And there were other dangers: One old photo shows a friar in his habit, and seated nearby is a cowboy with a vicious looking six-shooter. Today, my confreres still minister in that same mission field, but they crisscross Navajo land by car or truck like everyone else, including the Navajo people.
Like our missionary forebears, the journey Jesus begins in today’s Gospel was difficult—not only because robbers, deserts, and wild beasts lay along the road to Jerusalem. At the end of his journey Jesus will face crucifixion and death.
In these summer Gospel selections from Luke, our author uses the journey theme to explore what being a disciple means. Your trip to church this weekend might not be hazardous–until you reach the parking lot at least!–but let’s hope you hear loud and clear the challenge to discipleship in our Sunday Scriptures.