Thursday, October 30 ~ Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Luke 13:31-35 Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Meditation: Jesus compares his longing for Jerusalem with a mother hen gathering her brood under her protective wings. Psalm 91 speaks of God’s protection in such terms: “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). Jesus willingly set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet certain betrayal, rejection, and death on a cross. His death on the cross, however, brought about victory and salvation, not only for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but for all – both Jew and Gentile – who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus’ prophecy is a two-edged sword, pointing to his victory over sin and death and foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and the dire consequences for all who would reject him and his saving message. While the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple was determined (it was razed by the Romans in 70 A.D.) there remained for its inhabitants a narrow open door leading to deliverance. Jesus says: I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved (ref. John 10:9). The Lord Jesus opens the way for each of us to have direct access to God who adopts us as his children and who makes his home with us.
Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you make room in your life for Jesus Christ? The Lord is knocking at the door of your heart (ref. Revelations 3:20) and he wishes to enter into a close personal relationship with you. Receive him who is the giver of expectant faith, unwavering hope, and undying love. And long for the true home which God has prepared for you in his heavenly city, Jerusalem (ref. Revelations 21:2-4). Think about it: why would anyone not want to enter into a close personal relationship with Christ?