Thursday, Oct. 29th 2020

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

It might surprise us that the Pharisees warn Christ of Herod’s plot to kill Him. I say that because, as I stated in an earlier reflection this week, we tend to think of Pharisees as the Lord’s archenemies. However, the reason Jesus engages with them is that they are actually closest to His own views and practice of all of the expressions of Second Temple Judaism. Like a family, you fight more with them than you do with strangers.

The Pharisees are, therefore, legitimately concerned about His safety. Perhaps it would affect them, perhaps they genuinely care. What they are not considering is the prophecies of the Messiah that proclaim the Savior to be a suffering servant who takes on the sins of the people to bring about redemption.

Thus, the image that Jesus gives is one that we might overlook. He says that He wishes to gather all of the Chosen People as a mother hen gathers her brood. It seems a little like a He’s saying He wants to be just a coddling mother gathering scared children under skirts. That is not the simile at all. Rather, a hen covers her chicks when there a fire in the coop; this act of self-immolation saves the lives of her offspring. Here again, Christ laments that so many will fail to see Christ’s Passion and death as what will grant them the life – eternal life – that they would enjoy saving.

We can still witness people of goodwill who see how our society is openly hostile to Christians – and perhaps especially to faithful Catholics. They would counsel us to change our tone, not talk so much about morality and hot button issues, and to settle down when Church leadership seems to speak without clarity. What they miss is the ultimate end and the mission that each of us has, which is to accompany others to the destination. For that reason, we may suffer for the truth, which is that all of us have one Savior and Lord, one means to salvation. We must seek to be kind but perhaps not nice; to be patient when we would like immediate results. Yet those who persevere to the end will be blessed when the crucified and Risen Lord returns.

Reflection by Fr. Pachomius Meade, OSB

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