Foxes and Sheep

Challenge: Today show purity of intention and sincerity of heart by seeking two opportunities to serve others in a way that you normally wouldn’t.
by Father Patrick Langan, LC | Source:

October 30, 2008
Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time)

Luke 13: 31-35
At that time some Pharisees came to him 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.' Jerusalem, 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.'"

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you and I ask you to increase my faith so that I may never begin to believe only in myself, as Herod did. I ask you to rid me of all desire to be ahead of others and to be held in esteem by the world. In all things I want to seek only you, since you are the firm foothold for my trust and love. You are the one who will never change and who will always be there for me. Lord Jesus, I trust in you.

Petition: Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours.

1. His Time Is Drawing Near
The last time someone sought to put an end to Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled with him to Egypt. Now once again his life is in danger, yet he does not run. Why does Christ show no fear of the horrible death that he is preparing to endure? His love for us is that great; his love is stronger than death. Jesus loves us more – infinitely more than we can desire, infinitely more than we dare to dream. Sometimes our dreams may seem bold, almost absurd; nevertheless, they lie far below the reality of his love.

2. A Question of Sincerity
It is interesting to note that it is the Pharisees who come to warn Christ about Herod. In the Gospels, the Pharisees do not have a very good record of friendship with Christ. Who is the real fox – Herod, or the Pharisees who are trying to scare Christ out of town? Yet Christ speaks to them with love as he continues the mission he must fulfill no matter what the obstacles. If we are sincere with ourselves, we might find that we sometimes create sophisms to cover up our lack of fidelity. Let us always be sincere with Christ, knowing that he always truly seeks what is best for us.

3. Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Such is Christ’s love for those who would plan his death that he seeks to bring them the fullness of life, the divine life of grace. The Pharisees were so busy worrying about Christ stealing their authority and power that they missed the whole point of his coming to earth – to bring salvation. They went about trying to look good in front of others, yet they were really nothing more than foxes in sheep’s clothing. When we are sincere before Christ, he will give us the grace and strength to practice what we preach.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I trust in you. Despite the struggles and obstacles in my path now, I know that you are leading me towards you and heaven. You are the only one who can fill the depths of my heart. Please help me to respond to your love in a way that is worthy of you.

Resolution: Today I will seek two opportunities to serve others in a way that I might normally not, to show purity of intention and sincerity of heart.

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