From the Sunday Readings
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, 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 Jesussaid 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."
The Lord is on His way to Jerusalem, where he must die on the Cross and rise again on the third day so that all who believe in His Name and hear His voice, may be saved. He is accompanied by the Sons of Thunder, the brothers James and John. They pass through a Samaritan village, and the Samaritans show them no hospitality. Indeed, they must have been quite inhospitable, for they are heading to Jerusalem, which the Samaritans reject as the Holy City. The Sons of Thunder, true to form, take the rejection strongly, and like Elijah, want to rain the fire of heaven upon the village, so that those rejecting the Lord and his Apostles, may be consumed. But the way of the Lord is far different. He rebukes James and John, and it is well deserved, for even though they walk with the Lord himself, they do not always walk His way. He has not come to destroy or to level, but to save, and He will show His love by giving His life. It is a Way that regularly confounded his disciples. By the end of his life, John had long taken it to heart. He comes down to us not so much as the Son of Thunder of his youth, but as the Apostle of love, a man transformed into a saint by the plain and simple truth of the Good News.