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July 1st, 2001

Catholic Homilies

July 1st, 2001

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Luke 9:51-62


This selection begins Luke's story of the journey to Jerusalem which invites us to discover to what discipleship entails. We note that Jesus resolved to make the journey We also learn how from the very beginning, he encounters obstacles both from his disciples and from those who want to postpone commitment to a more convenient time. This selection makes it plain that only when we see the obligation to follow Jesus as our first priority will we be able to follow his resolve to journey to the Jerusalem of our lives. Once there, we will recognize how what we learn along the way of our journey with him prepares us for the challenge of the cross and the possibility of resurrection.

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Once upon a time, in the not too far distant past, the faculty of a department in a distinguished university recruited a brilliant young scholar. The faculty knew this man would increase the prestige of the department. About a year after he arrived, a young woman, about to begin work on her doctoral dissertation, approached the new professor for advice on how to proceed. He listened to her discuss what she wanted to research and then gave some surprising advice. He began by telling her that she should narrow her intended topic. He said he was appalled at the scope of proposals that had been accepted by the department in previous years. He said the researchers would be in the university for years, kept from engaging in real issues that needed their study. He said that was the worse sin against doctoral candidates and reinforced their own fears that they were not quite ready for the real world. "Do one chapter of the book you want to write and then get out of here. Don't be afraid of the real world beyond this place. You'll be surprised at how much what you have learned at this university will, when combined with the new issues you confront once you leave here, open vast new areas of study." As the years went on, the members of the department began to notice that many of this professor's advisees were completing their dissertations in record time and that some had even become well known scholars in their fields. His fellow faculty members wondered why it was that he had attracted all the brilliant students!

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His fellow faculty members wondered why it was that he had attracted all the brilliant students
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