Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Following Christ


Elisha leaves aside his yoke and oxen, and follows Elijah. Paul invites us to drop the yoke of hatred and walk in the freedom of the Spirit. Jesus rebukes the disciples for their spirit of vengefulness, and expresses urgency in calling people to follow him.


The “sons of thunder” truly lived up to their billing: for people’s inhospitality, they wanted to burn up the village! Some early versions of the gospel have an addition, telling us how Jesus rebuked: “You do not know what sort of spirit you are of. For the Son of man has not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them” (v. 55b-56a). Jesus’ frustration is understandable: None of the disciples seemed “to get” his gospel. Mark 9 is full of events of Jesus’ mercy and compassion; but the disciples were busy fighting as to who was the greatest among them, and forbidding someone from healing in Jesus’ name simply because he wasn’t “authorized”. Clearly, they were ruled by a spirit of narcissism, jealousy, and vengeance. The Spirit of Jesus was all about self-gift, inclusiveness, and forgiveness. When will they – we – get the message?


“Lord, give us your Spirit of self-donation, compassion, and inclusive love.”


Examine your heart as to what delays your total embrace of Christ’s Spirit.


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C) -  "I will follow you wherever you go

 Pope Francis: We have been called by God and called to remain with Jesus, united to him, and it is precisely "life in Christ" that guarantees the fidelity of our service: to contemplate, adore and embrace him in our encounter with Christ in the Eucharist, in our life of prayer, in our moments of adoration, and also to recognise him present and embrace him in those most in need. 

The following of Christ does not allow for sentiments, rethinking or compromises: the ploughman, who ploughs the field with his eyes turned back, will certainly not plough a straight furrow... Perhaps we have been ambiguous people at times; cultivators of the "yes... but...".   In the book of Revelation we are told: "I wish you were cold or hot, but because you are lukewarm, I will cast you out of my heart" We do not say yes or no. The point is to keep on pulling. 

Jesus is giving us to understand that he wants us to persevere in following him. The teaching of the Gospel is that God cannot be relegated to a small corner of life, putting practically everything else first: work, business, sport, family. There is one thing that is truly important in life: "God". Because "one is a Christian when one walks in the footsteps of the Master". Therefore, we should say that we are Christians, but above all, we become Christians to the extent that we dare to follow Jesus.

We should not be content with a religion of minimums, fulfilling only the essential, but of following, trying to live "with the air of Jesus and not with the air that blows the most".

Because when God calls us to his service, we have to give up everything: "House, parents, wife, children, brothers and sisters, and even our own life".  (Lk.14,26).

On the other hand, St. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says: it is a way of freedom, this was Jesus' way to his Father, and this must be our way.

Prayer: Lord, remember those of us who wish to follow you in a special way, with generous dedication. May our witness be the seed of new believers. 

(Psalm 15) You are, Lord, the lot of my inheritance.



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