Free to Live as a Slave
Proper 8 (year c)
Psalm 77.1-2, 11-20, 2 Kings 2.1-2, 6-14, Luke 9.51-62 & Galatians 5.1, 13-25Galatians 5.13 & 14 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Meditation: ...Someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home." Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9.57b-62)
Reflection: "To have no place to lay your head is difficult, unsettling - and an essential part of a walk with God. This "liminal space" is a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading us." - Richard Rohr, OFM
Consider: To compound the distinction, Jesus, unlike Elijah, does not permit his followers to say goodbye or even to bury their dead, for "no one who looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God." To follow Jesus is to do so wholeheartedly-there is no middle ground.
Paul reminds the Galatians community that they "were called for freedom," which is most fully expressed by the ability "to serve one another through love." He insists that this law is the highest way because it bears the true fruits of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control" (Galatians 5:22-23).
James and John's suggestion to punish those who rejected them was a clear indication that they still lived by the flesh. We, too, can easily see where our loyalties lie by the fruits of our actions, especially those directed toward our enemies.
How can we possibly proclaim the good news if we ourselves have not left everything to live it?
Good questions - "What is the relationship between faith and the law?"."