13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
June 26, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.








O God, who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

First Reading 1 Kgs 19:16b,19-21 1

The LORD said to Elijah:
"You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you."

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
"Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you."
Elijah answered, "Go back!
Have I done anything to you?"
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

Responsorial Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-8,9-10,11

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
 I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
 you it is who hold fast my lot."

I bless the LORD who counsels me;
 even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
 with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
 my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
 nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
 fullness of joys in your presence,
 the delights at your right hand forever.

Second Reading Gal 5:1,13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.

I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Alleluia 1 Sm 3:9; Jn 6:68c

Gospel Lk 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
"Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?"
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Reflection Questions

In what ways are you guided by the Spirit?

On whom are you tempted to call down fire from heaven?

How might your hand be “set to the plow?”

Catena Nova

When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” This means, that after He would endure His saving Passion for us, the time would come when He should ascend to heaven and dwell with God the Father, so He determined to go to Jerusalem. This is, I think, the meaning of his “set his face.” It would be false to affirm, that our Saviour did not know what was about to happen because He knows all things. He knew, of course, that the Samaritans would not receive His messengers. There can be no doubt of this. Why then did He command them to go before Him? It was His custom to benefit diligently, the holy Apostles in every possible way and because of this, it was His practice, sometimes to test them…. On this occasion, He also tested them. He knew that the Samaritans would not receive those who went forward to announce that He would stay with them. He still permitted them to go, that this again might be a way of benefiting the holy Apostles. What was the purpose of this occurrence? He was going up to Jerusalem, as the time of His passion was already drawing near. He was about to endure the scorn of the Jews. He was about to be destroyed by the scribes and Pharisees and to suffer those things that they inflicted upon Him when they went to accomplish all of violence and wicked boldness. He did not want them to be offended when they saw Him suffering. He also wanted them to be patient and not to complain greatly, although people would treat them rudely. He, so to speak, made the Samaritans’ hatred a preparatory exercise in the matter. They had not received the messengers. For their benefit, He rebuked the disciples and gently restrained the sharpness of their wrath, not permitting them to grumble violently against those who sinned. He rather persuaded them to be patient and to cherish a mind that is unmovable by anything like this.”  (St Cyril of Alexandria) 


Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem. You too have been chosen by Jesus to be one of his companions on the path he walks toward the Father and the Heavenly Kingdom. In circumstances like these, would you go aside and take a nap? Of course not! So why aren’t we intent on our prayers. Why don’t we stay wide away and carry out all the duties that fall to us with fervor? The very morning of the unending day has dawned. You have glimpsed the serene and eternal light of Jesus returning to us from the dead; it has given everything a new brightness and gladness.... It is none other than Christ who is revealing himself, as surely as the dawn does.... You are the Lord’s friend and Jesus is telling you that this light is his to give and that you only need to get up and accept it. Will you act like a sluggard? Will you go on sleeping and being oblivious? ... Strive to mount ever higher on the ladder of growth in holiness. (Bl. Guerric of Igny)

If we look carefully within ourselves, we shall find that there are certain limits beyond which we refuse to go in offering ourselves to [God]. We hover around these reservations, making believe not to see them, for fear of self-reproach… The more we shrink from giving up any such reserved point, the more certain it is that it needs to be given up. If we were not fast bound by it, we should not make so many efforts to persuade ourselves that we are free. (François Fénelon)

“For freedom he has set us free,” is Paul’s great cry in the epistle to the Galatians (5:1). Do you begin to get a sense of how strange it is that the gift of faith is what is absolutely central to Christianity, how absolutely it is linked to the notion of freedom? For just as a parent does not induct a child into the habit of walking so that the child will thereafter follow it around and do exactly what the parent does, so the Other other who produces in us the habitual disposition not to bow down to gods and not to be run by death doesn’t do these things so that we will “behave properly.” Rather the attitude of someone who seeks to give you faith is someone who is not in rivalry with you, is not concerned with the inevitable mistakes you will make, knows that perfectionism is the enemy of learning and of growth, and wants you to be able to discover for yourself what is good for you, where you will take it, what you will make of the adventure and the ride. So faith, the habitual disposition induced in us by the Other other, to allow ourselves to be relaxed about being stretched beyond our possibilities, turns out also to be something like a huge, happy, bracing challenge to freedom. (James Alison)

I can only become perfectly free by serving the will of God. (Thomas Merton)

When we are spiritually free, we do not have to worry about what to say or do in unexpected, difficult circumstances. When we are not concerned about what others think of us or what we will get for what we do, the right words and actions will emerge from the center of our beings because the Spirit of God, who makes us children of God and sets us free, will speak and act through us. (Henri Nouwen)

The solidarity with our “own” people tends to put us at enmity with those who are “other.” The beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem takes him through Samaria, where a village there did not “receive” them. Whether or not they were actually rejected by the Samaritans is not clear, but the suggestion of James and John that they command fire to rain down on the Samaritans suggests they probably were. This quick escalation from rejection to total destruction is the trademark of human culture that builds up such enmity and violence. Jesus rebukes his disciples for suggesting such a thing. Interestingly, some manuscripts add a verse where Jesus says: “You do not know what spirit you are of, for the Son of Man has not come to destroy the lives of human beings but to save them.” Even if this added verse is not authentic, Jesus’s rebuke already conveys that sentiment. Rejection and raining down fire is the culture of violence that the disciples and would-be disciples are commanded to turn away from. (Abbot Andrew Marr)


(N.B. Last week's homily contained an error.  The Diocese of Rochester does have one ordination to the priesthood scheduled for July 2.) 


A Decent Burial

            They call them the “hard sayings.”  All the times Jesus said something that sounds way too harsh.  At times you can chalk them up to a favorite device Jewish rabbis employed called “Semitic exaggeration” – using hyperbole to make point.  Like cutting off a limb rather than sin with it.  (I’ve yet to see anyone take that literally).  Other times, however, Jesus appears to be dead serious when he says something tough to take.  Like today’s, Let the dead bury the dead.  When those saying come out of his mouth, they often deal with the absolute priority following him take over every other consideration, including normal family commitments.  After all, Peter, and presumably the other apostles, were married, yet we hear nothing of their wives and families once they were sent on their various missions to proclaim the gospel.  And when members of Jesus’ own family tried to reach him while preaching, he made it clear that his followers were tied to him by discipleship and not by blood.

            So I don’t mean to take the sting out of such hard sayings.  But I do think there are ways – which might indeed be very costly – whereby we are better off leaving what has “died” behind. So often in life, growth requires us to bid farewell to people, situations, habits, beliefs, opinions, and much else that we have outgrown and no longer show signs of life.  And at one time perhaps we cherished them, thought they would last a lifetime, and the thought of burying them was unthinkable. Therapists make a living by helping people let go of troubling pasts and embrace new possibilities.  Spiritual directors also must guide people whose growth in prayer requires them to leave former practices behind and enter periods of transition with courage and generosity as they follow the path of life (RP).  Public life as well involves such things.  The drama on Capitol Hill these past few weeks has left many people to bury a partisan commitment in the face of a dead on arrival plot to subvert the Constitution.

            The Bible, by the way, is full of examples of people called to let the dead bury the dead.  Take Elisha, the successor of Elijah, who was minding his own business plowing his fields when the prophet called him to abandon his family and leave his former life behind, dead to him from then on. Or Paul the Pharisee whose conversion led him to see that the precepts of the Law of Moses no longer bound him for they were dead works to him, even calling them the yoke of slavery, while reminding the Galatians if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law (II).  Then there’s the apostles James and John who had to bury their prejudices against Samaritans who were not too ready to welcome them, rebuked by Jesus for their instinct for revenge by calling down fire from heaven to consume them.  Finally, Jesus himself had to let die any thoughts of a victorious campaign on behalf of the kingdom of God as he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem where he would face the Cross and burial in a tomb.

            Our life in the church must also be willing at times to bury the past.  Pope Francis, for example, spoke last month to a group of students and professors of liturgy.  He warned them against “the temptation of liturgical formalism: to focus on forms, formalities rather than reality, as we see today in those movements that try to go backwards and deny the Second Vatican Council. Then the celebration is recitation, it is something without life, without joy.”  He went on to criticize “those with closed mindsets use liturgical patterns to defend their own point of view. Using the liturgy: this is the drama we are experiencing in ecclesial groups that are distancing themselves from the church, questioning the council [and] the authority of the bishops [while claiming ] to preserve tradition” (May 7).

            More recently, Francis spoke to seminary officials challenging them to find new ways to express the faith so people today might grasp the gospel message more easily.  He remarked how, “The community needs the work of those who attempt to interpret the faith, to translate and retranslate it, to make it understandable, to expound it in new words; it is a work that must be always done again, in every generation....The church encourages and supports the effort to redefine the content of faith in every age, in the dynamism of tradition. That is why theological language must always be alive, dynamic, cannot help but evolve and must work to make itself understood...able to speak to us about God and to answer the questions of meaning that accompany people’s lives, and which we often do not have the courage to formulate openly” (June 17).

            So whether in our personal lives, our civic life or our life in the church, there are times when we need to let go and leave behind a past that is no longer living, painful as that might be, and open ourselves to something new that beckons.



Intercessions (Joe Milner; The Sunday Website)

For the Church: that we may hear God’s call to discipleship and seek first the reign of God in our lives.

For the grace of freedom: that we may know freedom of mind and heart so that we can serve those in need around us and not be controlled by the expectations and demands of society.

For all who feel impelled to violence: that the Spirit of God will calm their anger and help them recognize each person as a child of God.

For all who are making a journey, particularly pilgrims, refugees, and those going on service trips: that God will guide and protect them on their journey and lead them to new discoveries about themselves and God’s love for them.

For all who are recovering from storms and floods: that God will protect them from further harm, guide them to the resources that they need, and open the hearts of many to assist them.

For the members of Congress: that the Spirit will guide them in addressing the issues of violence, injustice and poverty, and work more diligently for those who are oppressed or forgotten by society.

For healing of families and communities: that those of different religious traditions and understanding of the Scriptures may recognize the God who is at work in every heart and experience renewal of their relationships and new ways to cooperate.

For an increase in civility in public discourse: that all who are championing causes may respect those who hold different ideas.

For all who are grieving: that God will comfort them, fill their hearts with peace, and help them to experience the love and compassion of those around them.

For peace throughout the world: that armed conflicts will end, injustices and jealousies be addressed, and that all nations may use their resources to defeat disease and hunger.


Sovereign God, ruler of our hearts, you call us to obedience and sustain us in freedom.


Keep us true to the way of your Son, that we may leave behind all that hinders us


and, with eyes fixed on him, walk surely in the path of the kingdom,


where he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.  Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Hymn (Edvard Grieg)


God's Son has made me free from Satan's tyranny;

from fear of death and bonds of sin, from all that

plagues my soul within.

The holy One, divine, became a

friend of mine. From heaven on high, from

starry sky, he came to die that I might live, might live with him eternally,

God's Son has made me free.

God's Son has made me free! God's Son has made me free!

Yes, free, free, free, free!

God's Son has made me free.

Communion Antiphon

Closing Hymn


I have set the Lord always before me;

because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices;

my flesh will also rest in hope.

You will show me the path of life;

in your presence is the fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.