Commentary on the Gospel of

Tom Shanahan, S.J.

Today’s gospel reading is from the beginning of Jesus’ journey from the long ministry in Galilee up to Jerusalem.  It is a long journey and vital for the completion of his vocation from the Father.  Much more than a travelogue and high points of Jesus’ message, this journey takes Jesus to Jerusalem and the culmination of his life – his death and resurrection.


We see the disciples coming back from a trip to the “nations”.  They are amazed by what had occurred and probably puffed up by their success: “even the demons are subject to us.”  Jesus in his wisdom calls them back to earth “do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you but because your names are written in heaven.”  They will indeed do wonderful deeds for Jesus and for God, but only after the climactic events in Jerusalem.


For now they journey with Jesus.  That journey leads them to do the wonders they did after the resurrection because of their faith in Jesus.  They are clearly transformed by the events of Jerusalem.


What would it be like to be a disciple?  They would be “childlike” and open to God in the same way that Jesus was open to his Father.  They have everything!  And will need to discover that when Jesus is gone from their midst.


Our journey in faith parallels the disciples’ following of Jesus.  There is a direct line of revelation and accomplishment: God – Jesus – the disciples – us. Like the disciples we are invited to follow and to trust in Jesus, the full revelation of God our Father. 


In my prayer today I want to recognize the goodness of God in the person of Jesus whose journey takes him to Jerusalem.  Be with me, Jesus, as I attempt to walk the walk with you.   Let me journey in faith, hope, and love knowing that you are constantly present to me and inviting me into discipleship with you.


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