Today’s Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
Jesus’ response to the Pharisees draws great courage and hope within my heart. I imagine what I may have thought if someone warned me of the threat on my life as this Pharisee did to Jesus; there was no mincing of words, only an overt, blatant declaration of what was to happen to Jesus.
Yet Jesus did not falter. He did not waver in His confidence of His mission, what the Father had sent Him to accomplish on this earth. Jesus knew inherently, constantly, and steadily that there was more He was intended to fulfill – just a while longer – before His imminent and certain death. But he also knew that death was not the finale to the Father’s grand design. Only a dramatic God, a God of intensity and calm, a God of emotions and a God of grandiosity would plan an inexplicable, incomprehensible conclusion to a natural, human death.
So must we consider that death is not the end for us, either. When we are faced with despondency and despair or even ridicule and persecution, we must recall that bold response from Jesus that we read in today’s Gospel: “I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day.”
We must never lose sight of the purpose to which God has called us; our interior peace must not be shaken, and yet we must expect obstacles and challenges to be presented throughout life’s odyssey. No one has a smooth-sailing journey, but we all can be assured of two things: God is always with us, and death is not the end. There is always Resurrection.
Whether we are facing a literal, physiological death or a metaphorical dying to self, we must remain confident in our resolve to continue forward, regardless of what befalls us along the way.
Do I listen to the voices of naysayers as I discern God’s will for my life, or do I listen to God’s voice? Do I trust what God tells me, how He leads me? Do I follow Him with confidence, even when the road is narrow and unknown? How can I grow in a greater confidence in my faith today?
Jesus, I thank you for your example of confidence in faith. I consider how many occasions you were presented with impending conflict, tension, outrage and even temptations, yet you never wavered in focusing on your divine purpose. I consider this to be the ultimate gift of love – the gift of yourself, always a fulfillment of love–and so I ask you today to infuse that same love within my heart. Walk with me today so that I may face the mysteries of my life with great courage and confidence. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Jeannie Ewing