Roughly a third of the Gospel of Luke, or ten chapters, are about the Journey of Christ to Jerusalem. Scripture scholars often referred to these chapters as the Great Journey of Jesus. And this Great Journey starts with this Sunday’s Gospel passage, the beginning of Chapter 9; “As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem.” This Great Journey ends in chapter 19, with His arrival at Jerusalem.
St Luke uses the teachings of Christ, in the framework of His journey to Jerusalem, to give us some guide in our own life’s journey. In life’s journey, there are always challenges and obstacles. In the ten chapters, we read not only of obstacles and difficulties but also the qualities and wisdom of life that will be demanded of us to navigate to the final destination. These chapters give us well known teachings like the parables of the Good Samaritan, the prodigal son, the widow and the judge, the story of Martha and Mary, the lost sheep, indissolubility of marriage…and so on. All the teaching pertain to the journey of life – the attitude to have, and values to observe, the dangers to watch, the difficulty along the way, the need for prayers, compassion and the concern for others and then the final reward.
St Luke encourages us to walk resolutely towards our own Jerusalem, the word ‘retreat’ or ‘defeat’ is never mentioned. At all costs we must advance, and if we stumble and fall, we follow our master in picking ourselves up and move forward again.
Read the details of chapters 9-19 for yourselves. At the end of it, perhaps look again at the worldly things with which you have preoccupied yourselves, and the (lack of?) spiritual pursuits you have in your lives. Sometimes our modern life gets too busy and we lose sight of what life is about. Its time to get the right perspective.