Luke lets us know in today’s gospel that not all the Pharisees were trying to get rid of Jesus, trying to lure him into arguments about the Law, finding any type of reason to get him out of their way. Some of them came to warn him about Herod, the king, who also desired to get Jesus ‘out of the way’.
But Jesus directly faces this danger he is in, and tells the Pharisees to “tell that fox”that the journey to Jerusalem and the Cross cannot be stopped because his calling was to show the world the extent of God’s love towards us ‘even though we are sinners’.
That ‘vocation’ could not be deterred by any opposing force. “It is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem”.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets, how often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing’.
That thirst, that desire of God to gather us together is always there and never dims; but there needs to be a free and loving ‘Yes’ to that love. This invitation is there in every event of our ordinary day. Ponder on that simple image of the hen gathering her chicks under her wing, and the chicks knowing that there they are safe.
I read a quote recently that said that we worry so much before God about our pain and our shame, that it can blind us to being aware of the God who is always intensely searching and desiring to be welcomed into our hearts and calling us to take that love to the world.
I see our lives as the journey in which we are invited to know that God, the God on the Cross, more and more deeply, even though it is slow and it can be painful.
Then we can see our ‘pain and shame’ through the eyes of Christ and focus on helping others in their pain.
Fr. Tony Egar CP has spent his 58 years of priesthood working in Australia and PNG with novices and students who have been called to the Passionist way of life, ministering in parishes, in the giving retreats and in spiritual direction.