Something from
revelation.

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down

We see later, in today’s Gospel the next revelation of Jesus, but before that part, taken from Chapter 4 of Luke’s Gospel, we hear from the very first part of Luke’s first chapter.

This interesting placement of parts from two different Chapters helps us to call to mind what must happen in our lives if we are to be Jesus’ disciples, His followers.

Luke is an interesting example of discipleship lived. Luke wrote both a Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He was likely a gentile and a slave who was trained as a scientist and physician; disciples come from every background. Luke’s gospel shows special focus on evangelizing Gentiles; the message disciples are to bring. Luke loyally stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome. After everyone else deserts Paul, Luke remains; discipleship lived.

Luke’s Gospel speaks to the poor and speaks of social justice – work that is a mark of discipleship. He points to forgiveness and God’s mercy to sinners. Throughout Luke’s gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God’s mercy; the proclamation and work of disciples in reconciling sinners.

Reading Luke’s gospel gives a good idea of his life as a disciple. He loved the poor and outcast, wanted the door to God’s kingdom opened to all, was close to Mary, and saw hope in God’s mercy for everyone. I want to be like that! If we are in the Church, part of the Church, lovers and followers of Jesus – then we must all strive to be that kind of disciple.

Luke starts – I want to tell you all about Jesus. I scientifically analyzed all this so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings.

Jesus again enters the public space, another revelation, this time at the Synagogue in Nazareth. He reads from Isaiah and tells everyone that the prophesy is fulfilled in His listeners’ hearing. I am here. This is real.

We have the revelation of Jesus. Like Luke, let hearing result is action and, disciple.

Was He
serious?

Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us… Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

Throughout the Gospels we find Jesus struggling to turn His disciples’ thoughts from human worries to God’s way. The disciples weren’t getting it.

Peter thinks in personal and human ways about Jesus’ prediction of His suffering and death. He wants to stop it. The disciples, as explained last week, did not hear a word of Jesus’ teaching, but rather fought about who was the greatest. Today, John addresses Jesus as “teacher” and immediately demonstrates that he has not heard or integrated a word of Jesus’ teaching. John is exhibiting serious jealousy and a lack of welcome to those who would follow Jesus.

Jesus now cranks up the extreme. He’s trying to get His disciples to have, as some call it today, a ‘Come to Jesus moment.’ He’s being really blunt, trying to break through the disciples closed ears and obstinate ways. If you want to follow me – open your hearts, welcome the poor and the small, protect them, and be prepared to lay everything on the line. Don’t let My word go in one ear and out the next – let them sink in and make it real. Live my Gospel.

Living Jesus’ Gospel is not easy. It is challenging even in the best of circumstances. The people of the Church are supposed to be on the same page – inviting, welcoming, working together – but we know frustrations grow and we go astray. We get perturbed when patient love is most needed. We try to layer our justifications for the why of our personal shortcomings over the truth of the Gospel message.

Jesus calls us to hard and serious discipleship and evangelization. It shall not be one church over the next, but one Church. Work together in my name! Protect and cherish the young – the very young, teens, and young adults – because they need guidance and faithful examples. You harm them – you’re as good as dead. You’re thinking about evil, sin, harm – destroy yourself before you take the first step down that path. Yes, Jesus is serious, and He is driving home His warning in very vivid ways. This, now, is a come to Jesus moment. Seriously!