Thursday, October 29, 2015 ~ 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: When King Herod, the jealous, narcissistic ruler of Galilee, heard that thousands of people were coming to Jesus, he decided it was time to eliminate this threat to his influence and power. That is why some of the Pharisees warned Jesus to flee from the wrath of Herod. Jesus, in turn, warned them that they were in greater spiritual danger of losing both soul and body if they refused to listen to God and to his messengers the prophets. Like John the Baptist and all the prophets who preceded him, Jesus posed a threat to the ruling authorities of his day. Note that Jesus went so far as to call Herod a “fox.” What did he mean by such an expression? The fox was regarded as the slyest of all animals and one of the most destructive as well. Any farmer will tell you how difficult it is to get rid of foxes who under the cover of night steal and destroy. The fox became a symbol of what was worthless, insignificant, and destructive. It takes great courage to stand up and openly oppose a tyrant. Jesus knew that he would suffer the same fate as the prophets who came before him. He not only willingly exposed himself to such danger, but he prayed for his persecutors and for those who rejected the prophets who spoke in God’s name. In praying for them. Jesus prays for their conversion of mind and heart, turning away from sin, lies and deception and turning to the truth.
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: There are many fox-like persons in our world who in their own way, step-by-step, imitate King Herod in trying to eliminate the teachings of Jesus in the public square – some by discrediting the teachings of the Catholic Church. These people are sly and crafty just like a fox, and have an agenda that is contrary to Christ. Be attentive, be aware – do not fall prey to these people who are often glib and articulate in their speech, and many of them are in very powerful positions who know how to use social media and other methods to distribute their message.