Thursday 17 November 2022 – PEACE IN CHRIST

33rd Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Rev 5:1-10

I, John, saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a mighty angel who proclaimed in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to examine it. I shed many tears because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to examine it. One of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. The lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open the scroll with its seven seals.” Then I saw standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb that seemed to have been slain. He had seven horns and seven eyes; these are the seven spirits of God sent out into the whole world. He came and received the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne. When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones. They sang a new hymn: “Worthy are you to receive the scroll and break open its seals, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on earth.”

Gospel: Lk 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace– but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

PEACE IN CHRIST: In the gospel of the day, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, recalling her past and foreseeing the future.  The city was established, 3500 years ago. In spite the name Jerusalem meaning The City of Peace, before the time of Jesus, it was besieged no less than 32 times. Later in 70 AD, Titus the Roman General captured the city and razed it to the ground. Today only a wall, which is nick named as Weeping Wall, is left on which the Jews weep and wail over. Looking at Jerusalem, Jesus also wept because it did not deliberately recognize the visitation of the king of peace to it. The weeping of Jesus calls us to become aware of the events happening in our nations and in the world today. We are invited to stand against the abuse of power, corruption and violations of Human Rights taking place in our nations.

Prayer: Lord, we pray for a sensitive heart and sharp tongue that works for peace.

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CONVINCED TO THE END: St. Catherine of Siena says, “To a brave man, good and bad luck are like his right and left hand, he uses both.” For Mattathias and his entire family, having honour, and looking for faith were equal. They do all with conviction and hence seek all that leads to eternal peace. They do not concentrate on earthly matters, on temporal and passing things. Rather, the concentration is on eternity (1Mc 2:21). Sometimes, we concentrate on amassing earthly riches and forget what is just. We worship riches giving God little or no time. Let us look at life from the eyes of God and avoid deception. Those that the earth considers honourable are indeed dis-honourable.

PRAYER: O Lord, grant me the grace to discern the signs of the time.

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DO NOT FREEZE, BUT KNOW WHERE YOU ARE HEADING: There is a danger for those who don’t pay heed and who refuse to listen. Because they failed to read the signs of the times. Jesus wept looking ahead into the future because he could read the writing on the wall. It is not just a helpless cry of the incapable. But his preoccupation was the redemption of that temple: God’s people. There is an ancient saying: Nobody has the power to make two steps together, you can take only one step at a time. Yet you have to traverse the path. It is no fun sitting lost in the thoughts of your failures, in the uncertainties of the future. Or else your epitaph will read: “He dreamt of doing great things, he desired to do good things, and ended up doing nothing”. Believe in a God who makes amends, who forgives and start all over again. Let’s try to turn over a new leaf.

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WHAT WOULD JESUS FEEL? In the Gospel of Luke, towards the end of chapter 9, Jesus begins his journey towards Jerusalem. He is about to enter into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Nevertheless, before he does that, perhaps coming down from the Mount of Olives, he has this panoramic view of the city. He weeps. He weeps because of two reasons: he is going to enter it and the people have no idea of who he really is, and they are going to kill him; secondly, the city itself is not going to stand in triumph for a long time. It is going to be destroyed by the Romans (as it would happen in 70 AD). Well, if Jesus has a panoramic view of my heart what is he going to feel? Is he going to weep for my attitude of indifference towards Him? Is he going to weep for the wrong direction that my heart is heading towards?