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Sunday, June 28, 1998

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13th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:16, 19-21
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Psalm 16
Luke 9:51-62

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"Elijah set out, and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen." —1 Kings 19:19

Elijah called Elisha to become his disciple while Elisha was plowing. This is not an insignificant detail. When Jesus called one of His disciples, He spoke of discipleship as putting one's hands to the plow (Lk 9:62). Being a disciple is like plowing. Disciples have the power to break up hard ground and hard hearts in a hard, hardened, and hardening world. Without the disciples' plowing, there can never be a harvest, no matter how much seed is sown and no matter how much work is done.

Jesus, before His Ascension, commanded us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). This entire world needs to be plowed and then sown and harvested. We will never win the world for Christ until we plow the world for Christ. Therefore, Jesus' disciples must start plowing and keep plowing without looking back, or they are unfit for the kingdom of God (Lk 9:62).

Plowing is hard work with hard ground, and the first field we must plow is the field of our own hardened hearts. Repent and plow! Prophesy and plow! Pray, preach, and plow! Work, suffer, and plow! Love, die, and plow! Be a disciple; make disciples; plow!

Prayer:  Father, as the sweat pours down my brow, may I plow and keep my eyes straight ahead, focused on You.

Promise:  "The flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; the two are directly opposed." —Gal 5:17

Praise:  Alleluia! He is risen! "It is true!" (Lk 24:34) Alleluia forever!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997