13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 30/6/2013 - Gospel: Lk 9: 51-62
Whatever plan you present to the public for support there will always be people who will support it and people who will oppose it regardless of the benefits. We welcome the support with joy and get hurt and feel the pain towards the opposition to it. No one can escape, including Jesus, this is the reality of life. There are different phases of chewing criticism. We all get hurt and feel the pain but the hurt and pain last differently from person to person. Some take longer to overcome it; others may be able to let it go quickly and go on with the project. The best way to ease the hurt and pain is trying to learn from it. When you see the positive outcomes from the criticism you will take it with a lighter heart. Openness and humility will change the criticism into appreciation. It helps us to see that criticism is the reality of life which is important for personal development in learning more about oneself and self assessments. Those who reject or disregard criticism will be upset more and become bitter and that causes more harm than good.

The messengers of Jesus in today's gospel showed that they could not take criticism and the rejection from others. They were furious when learnt the Samaritan village refused to make them welcome. They intended to destroy the town. They asked Jesus

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. Lk 9,54

I am glad the hostile behaviour was not of the disciples but it was of the messengers. These messengers believed in Jesus and followed him but it was not good enough because they didn't have the heart of Jesus. Their behaviour towards the Samaritan village certainly was not in light of the teaching of Jesus. To ease the tension Jesus asked them to move out of the hostile atmosphere. Jesus later on instructed them that his way is peace not war. In their mission when they enter a house if people didn't welcome them then move on to the next one. There is no need to get angry or seek retribution Lk 10,10ff.

Jesus himself had personal experiences of being rejected. There are number of occasions Jesus invited people to follow but they all gave Him legitimate reasons to refuse. Today's reading in Luke 9,51-62 there are three refusals to follow or rather they wanted to follow Him with conditions enclosed. Jesus refused to accept any preconditions to work for the kingdom. In order to work effectively for the kingdom they needed to change their way of life, their way of thinking and this change begins from the heart. They need to secure their spiritual life before their material life and that is the first priority.  In other words workers for the kingdom need to reject personal wants and welcome whatever change is needed for the better glory of God.