God has told Elijah to anoint Elisha as the next prophet. What this means is that God is telling Elijah that he will die soon, and the people need another prophet.
When Elijah places his mantle on Elisha, then Elisha is expected to walk with Elijah and learn how to be a prophet, to learn more about God. We must understand that this is how we grow in faith. We “walk” with our teachers, learning from them, especially watching how they live their lives. Then we can do what they do. They are an example for us.
In today’s gospel, the disciples “walk” with Jesus as he teaches them. For three years they have been with Jesus. What have they learned?
When the Samaritans do not accept Jesus, the disciples want to call fire upon them. Why? Aren’t we supposed to love our neighbor? If they don’t love us, we must still love them. Jesus said to love your neighbor even if you don’t like them.
Discipleship means giving up everything to be with Jesus. Jesus warns them that He doesn’t have a warm bed and doesn’t have enough food. What do you renounce to be a disciple?
One says let me bury my father. Jesus says let the dead bury the dead. How can that be? You have been “walking” with Jesus for three years. Have you made no plans? We know that our parents will die one day. As disciples, we do not follow blindly, but we look at the needs of our family and plan to help them when necessary. Not making plans implies that your parents are not very important to you. A good disciple makes plans for his family.
A disciple has already told his family that he plans to follow Jesus. You don’t need many goodbyes. But as a disciple, you plan when you will meet again. Your focus is on Jesus and “walking” with Him.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen