Today's passage is right after Luke's Transfiguration scene, and it begins today with Jesus and four of his disciples coming down off the mountain. Have you ever come down the side of a mountain, or even a steep hill?
I am out at a parish retreat in Shrine Mont, which is as far west in Virginia as you can go and not be in West Virginia. It is a retreat center owned and operated by the Diocese of Virginia and is nestled in a valley in the Shenandoah area. Driving in yesterday I came down a step and very windy road that even all but the craziest locals take slowly. Coming down from a mountain, or hill top, is dangerous and must be done with care. Doing so on foot adds a component of exhaustion I did not experience driving down into this valley, but Jesus must have as he came off of his mountain.
In our Gospel selection, we then have a fairly large number of themes strung together by Luke. At this retreat we are exploring baptism, and Jesus talks about welcoming children today, or little ones, depending on your translation from the Greek. Coming down a mountain and teaching about welcoming new ones to the flock, with a generosity of spirit and hope that can transform the world. What a nice way to think about baptism and outreach and evangelism.
Copyright 2009, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved