Faith Daily | 28 October 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST Pentecost 21
Almighty and everlasting God,
give to us the increase of faith, hope and love;
and, that we may obtain what you promise,
make us to love what you command;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 13: 31-35
31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. 33Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Angela Back
Jesus’ ministry has attracted not only joy and wonder in towns and villages, but speculation and hostility, and certainly in the royal palace. When warned by concerned Pharisees that Herod wanted to kill him, Jesus dismisses him as “that fox”. The first Herod had no royal connections but was appointed by the Romans “as the most effective thug around” to keep order in the territories. Jesus is aware of a greater danger than Herod, but is moving towards Jerusalem to complete his work.
There is, however, another image behind the label ‘fox’. Foxes and fires were known dangers in barnyards. And mother hens died in barnyard fires to keep their chicks alive. Jesus’ thoughts are circling around coming dangers, but not for himself. This outpouring of grief is for what was coming to Jerusalem, and his people. A more powerful danger than that of the ‘fox’ in Galilee was the might of Rome. This lament, like the laments of earlier prophets, is for those who do not heed warnings, who prefer to do things their way. Jesus, as a mother hen, would like to protect his loved ones. He offers himself, crucified, resurrected, as a way of escape, as a refuge from the storms, then and now. He asks however, for awareness. I am sure he is grieving still over our hardness of heart. Sometimes, the blindness of others is the hardest thing to bear.
When faced with arrogance or a casual attitude, it is easy to reject people. Jesus was able to move to a different place: that of awareness, compassion and deep grief. I find his personal expression of this so moving.
FINAL PRAYER: Andy Raine, based loosely upon Carmina Gadelica
We are the naked ones
clothed in Your mercy.
More safe are we
with your smile upon us
than carrying much armour.
You are our best protection
against wild words that beguile.
You are our food, sweet to taste
You are our guide at all times.
The knee that is stiff, O Healer,
The heart that is hard, make warm
beneath Your wing.
The soul that is drifting far into danger,
if You grasp the helm shall not die.
We are the naked ones clothed in mercy.