Here are some checkpoints from today’s readings that are worthy of our thought and reflection—
Elisha at first wants to go back to say farewell to his family, but then realizes that when the Lord calls, you go! He still provides for them—by feeding them before he leaves—but then he is all about being committed to his vocation.
“…if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.” Enough said.
The Holy Gospel:
“Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
The first part of this saying by Jesus seems harsh, not exactly taken from the handbook on Bereavement Ministry. And yet, it is only shock treatment, or tough love on Jesus’ part to give us faith and hope in the resurrection. It is not very different from the words of the Angel to the disciples after the ascension of the Lord:
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand here staring up into the heavens?”
For the Christian solidly identified with Jesus’ words, “Zeal for my Father’s house consumes me,” a period of mourning and grieving may be shorter. Loss and separation are daily healed more and more in the knowledge of Jesus promises made true.
What I take away from today’s readings is summed up in St. Paul’s declaration today—
Christ has set us free…”
But we take note that it is a freedom FROM attachment and even slavery (to whatever or whomever), in order to have the freedom TO serve the Lord and, in the building up of his kingdom, freedom TO serve one another.