Ten chapters of St Luke’s Gospel, or roughly a third of the Gospel of Luke, are about the Journey of Christ to Jerusalem. Scripture scholars often referred to these ten chapters as the Great Journey of Jesus. The Great Journey starts with this Sunday’s Gospel passage, which is 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.” A different translation says: as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he resolutely turned his face towards Jerusalem. This Great Journey ends in chapter 19, with His arrival at Jerusalem.
St Luke the Evangelist uses the teachings of Christ, in the framework of Christ’s 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 just of obstacles and difficulties but also the qualities – captured in Our Lord’s teachings – that will be demanded of us to navigate to the final destination. In these chapters we come across 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.
Our Lord’s Great Journey is presented to us as the type of journey each one of us must make to get to our heavenly Jerusalem. 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, and at the end of it, perhaps lay out in your mind, the worldly things with which you have preoccupied yourselves, and the spiritual pursuits you have in your lives.
Sometimes it is good to see things in the right perspective.