Thursday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
Almighty and ever-living God,
strengthen our faith, hope and love.
May we do with loving hearts
what you ask of us
and come to share the life you promise.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Luke 13,31-35
came up to Jesus and, 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave this place, because Herod
means to kill you.' He replied, 'You may go and give that fox this message:
Look! Today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third day I
attain my end. But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since
it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How
often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her
brood under her wings, and you refused! Look! Your house will be left to you.
Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you are
saying: Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!'
● The Gospel today makes us feel the
threatening and dangerous context in which Jesus lived and worked. Herod, as he
had killed John the Baptist, wanted to kill Jesus.
● Luke 13, 31: The warning of the
Pharisees to Jesus. “Just at that time some Pharisees came up. Go away, they
said, Leave this place because Herod means to kill you” It is important to
notice that Jesus receives the warning of the Pharisees. Sometimes, the
Pharisees are together with the group of Herod wanting to kill Jesus (Mk 3, 6;
12, 13). But here they are in solidarity with Jesus and want to avoid his
death. At that time the power of the king was absolute. He did not render an
account to anyone of his way of governing. Herod had already killed John the
Baptist and now he wanted to finish also with Jesus.
● Luke 13, 32-33: the response of
Jesus. “He replied: You may go and give that fox this message, ‘Look! Today and
tomorrow I drive out evils and heal, and on the third day I attain my end”. Jesus’
response is very clear and courageous. He calls Herod: fox. To announce the
Kingdom Jesus does not depend on the permission of the political authority. He
sends a message informing that he continues his work today and tomorrow and
that he will have finished only day after tomorrow, that is on the third day.
In this response is discovered all the liberty to the power which wanted to
prevent him from carrying out the mission received from the Father. Therefore,
the one who determines the time and the hour is God and not Herod. At the same
time, in the response there arises also a certain symbolism connected to the
death and resurrection on the third day in Jerusalem. This is to indicate that
he will not die in Galilee, but in Jerusalem, capital of his people, and that
he will resurrect on the third day.
● Luke 13, 34-35: Admonishment of
Jesus to Jerusalem. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone
those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children
together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!” This
admonishment of Jesus on the capital of his people recalls the long and sad
story of the resistance of the authority to God’s calls which reached through
so many prophets and wise men. At another moment Jesus speaks of the prophets
persecuted and killed from Abel to Zechariah (Lk 11, 51). Reaching Jerusalem a
short time before his death, looking toward the city from the top of the
Mountain of Olives, Jesus weeps on it, because it does not recognize the time
in which God comes to visit it” (Lk 19, 44).
4) Personal questions
● Jesus qualifies the public power with
the name of fox. Can your political power deserve to be qualified like this?
● Jesus tried many times to convert
the people of Jerusalem, but the religious authority resisted. And you, how
many times do you resist?
5) Concluding prayer
Yahweh and his
marvels he has done, his wonders,
the judgements he has spoken. (Ps 105,4-5)