June 26, 2016 — Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“No one who sets a hand to the plow, and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Jesus was fond of using agricultural terms and images when teaching His Apostles and His followers, and this quote, which comes at the end of our Gospel Reading from Luke today, is an excellent example of that.
In fact, you almost have to have had experience with farming and plowing to understand what it means. It is important for the health and sustenance of crops that the furrows made by a plow, and in which the seeds will be planted, are straight. Whether plowing in Jesus’ time either by hand or with a plow pulled by oxen, in order to plow straight rows, someone had to focus on where he was going, not on where he had been. It has not changed with our modern farm equipment today.
In other words, the secret is to look forward, and to assure that you are going in a straight line. Looking back invariably made the person plowing lose focus. That is Jesus’ point to us. As good stewards we must keep our focus on Him, on following Him, and on being His disciple. That allows us to move toward our goal of holiness and of being the kind of disciple He wants us to be.