Daily Reflection for Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Peace and blessing, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Revelation 4:1-11
Responsorial: Psalm 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gospel: Luke 19:11-28
Our reflection on Wednesday's reading:
“After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.” Luke 19:28
Today's gospel reading requires some investigation to understand its meaning. We are familiar with the parable of the talents as told in the Gospel of Matthew. The lesson in Matthew is that we are called to use the talents, skills and resources God has given us for the benefit of others. In doing so, we participate in the kingdom of heaven.
A similar, but very different parable told here in the Gospel of Luke is shared by Jesus right before he is to enter Jerusalem for the culmination of his ministry. He will face the full fury of the powers of this world and enter into the full glory of God.
In the parable, this man who would be king is not a good man. Those who listened to Jesus would've understood the reference to those competing to gain civic power in Israel, men who turn to Rome to have their power confirmed and enforced. And Rome was no friend of the people. Those over whom this man already exercised his authority plead that he not be made king because of his cruelty, greed and lust for power.
The values and ways of Jesus are made known in his preaching (especially in the Beatitudes) and in this parable his teachings are contrasted with worldly values. In the Beatitudes Jesus has declared that the Kingdom of God belongs to the poor. These Godly values are not honored in this story where those who have more are given more, especially when this more is being taken from those who already have less. And values of Jesus are definitely not honored when those who oppose this “would be king” are brought before him for his revenge.
We are living in turbulent times as were the people of Jerusalem back then. For the poor, the sick, the disenfranchised and the lonely, life was bleak as it is for those same people today. Into this darkness comes a man called Jesus. He is of humble birth but his words, his touch, his affiliation with those on the margins bring a light and hope that is greater than the fears and oppression of that time and of this time. We who follow him are part of a reality that transcends earthly concerns and fears.
The season of Advent is near, a time when we as Christians can share our hope, a hope that is greater than even death. Let us reach out to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, and the lonely with our words and our actions. Let us share the gifts we have, not for self-gain but for the love of him who saves us.
Prayer: Lord, you are the light of the world. Give us the faith and depth of trust to let your light shine through our lives and our caring for others. Amen