The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Reflection (Sem. Arnel A. Calata Jr.)
Adamant! That is how we see Jesus in the Gospel today. Even amidst an apparent threat to His life, Jesus resolutely stands for His mission to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and cast out demons. The unwelcoming attitude of the Pharisees is felt as they say to Jesus, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” These Pharisees may be giving Him the warning just to get rid of Him.
But Jesus, who is very much aware of His mission and identity replies, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.’” He calls Herod (and his accomplices) a “fox” as He shows His rejection of duplicity and hypocrisy.
Jesus exemplifies a character worth emulating. We are called today to reflect on our own identity, not just as a person but as sons and daughters of God, called to a certain mission and witnessing.
We experience today little persecutions and unwelcoming attitude in times we do what is good, right, beautiful and true. Sometimes, we are alienated and ridiculed as we stand to what we believe in. This kind of hostile reception pushes aside our natural tendency to do what is good and just “go with the flow.” But Jesus teaches us to be courageous and adamant in our willingness to follow His example. He calls us to stand by Him and be firm in choosing Him. The world today needs not leaders capable of articulating thoughts and attracting people through words. What we need are courageous witnesses willing to stand for and with Jesus.
In our own little ways, we can show the world that it is never too late to become martyrs – called as modern-day witnesses of Jesus. The grace of fortitude is bestowed upon us by Him who first endured suffering and persecution for our sake. Let us be firm with our identity and be witnesses to Jesus!