28th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eph 1:1-10
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved. In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.
Gospel: Lk 11:47-54
The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
CHARGED WITH BLOOD OF THE PROPHETS: Prophets, and whistleblowers find themselves rejected, persecuted and killed as they challenge established order of injustice and corruption. Jesus says that it happened to the good people and the prophets from the beginning of humanity and it will happen in the future too. People of vested interests plot against the persons who stand for truth and justice as the Pharisees did with Jesus. Luckily there are still courageous people who are ready to risk their life to stand for the poor and the marginalized. Think of Martin Luther King who testifies that when faced with threat on his life and shattered “I could hear an inner voice of Jesus telling me, ‘Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. I will be with you, even until the end of the world. He promised me never to leave me alone. No never alone.”
Prayer: Lord, may I always stand for truth and justice, come what may.
BITTER TRUTH: Truth is often bitter as it enrages the one who has something to hide. Jesus is outspoken before the Pharisees. He condemns the people for continuing on the evil path of their ancestors. They build memorials for the prophets their ancestors martyred. The saddest part is that Pharisees keep the people away from knowledge. They fall in the category of those who do not desire to enter into God’s presence, yet prevent others who wish to receive God’s grace. These adversaries conspire against Jesus, as they team up in destruction of the good. We are warned to be weary of these enemies of God’s grace. Let us learn to walk on the endless energy of inner peace that never runs out. When we become channels through which God works, there are no more limitations. Let us learn to channelize our energy for the building of society.
PRAYER: God of power, bring us on the road to conversion and change, so that we always radiate your life.
***** WHO CAN OWN GOD? God reveals himself to whomever He wills. As the wind freely blows where it pleases, so is the Spirit of God (cf. Jn 3: 8). Can we chain God? There are times when leader of religions prevent People from God and God from people. Either by blocking the knowledge of God, or preventing from learning. It is a great responsibility to open others to the presence of the Holy Spirit and empowering them to come to the knowledge of God” (1Jn 2: 27). “A prophet is the one who make people free for God and God free for people” (Richard Rohr)