Posted by: RAM | November 19, 2014

Thursday (November 20): “Know the time of your visitation”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Holy Souls
Thursday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Feast of St. Edmund Rich, Patron of Abingdon, Oxfordshire; Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth; St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (1175-1240)
36 Days Before Christmas
56 Days Before the Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines

First Reading: Revelation 5:1-10
Psalms 149:1-10:  The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God.
Gospel: Luke 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,
he saw the city and wept over it, saying,
“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–
but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you
when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;
they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,
and they will not leave one stone upon another within you
because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112014.cfm

Reflection:  What enables us to live in peace and harmony with God and with one another? The Father in heaven sent his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to reconcile us with God and to unite us with one another in a bond of peace and mutual love. Jesus’ earthly ministry centers and culminates in Jerusalem, which Scripture describes as the holy city and throne of God on earth (Jeremiah 3:17), and the place which God chose for his name to dwell (1Kings 11:13; 2 Kings 21:4; 2 Kings 23:27),  and the holy mountain upon which God has set his king (Psalm 2:6). Jerusalem derives its name from the word “salem” which mean “peace”. The temple in Jerusalem was a constant reminder to the people of God’s presence with them.

Tears of mourning and sorrow over sin and refusal to believe in God
When Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the multitude of homes surrounding the holy temple, he wept over it because it inhabitants did not “know the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:42). As he poured out his heart to the Father in heaven, Jesus shed tears of sorrow, grief, and mourning for his people. He knew that he would soon pour out his blood for the people of Jerusalem and for the whole world as well.

Why does Jesus weep and lament over the city of Jerusalem? Throughout its long history, many rulers and inhabitants had rejected the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord because of their pride and unbelief. Now they refuse to accept Jesus as their Messiah whom God anointed to be their Savior and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus is our only hope – the only one who can save us and the world
Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was a gracious visitation of God’s anointed King to his holy city. Jerusalem’s lack of faith and rejection of the Messiah, however, leads to its eventual devastation and destruction by the Romans in 70 A.D. Jesus’ lamentation and prophecy echoes the lamentation of Jeremiah who prophesied the first destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. Jeremiah’s prayer of lamentation offered a prophetic word of hope, deliverance, and restoration: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies are new every morning …For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men” (Lamentations 3:21-22, 31-32).

Jesus is the hope of the world because he is the only one who can truly reconcile us with God and with one another. Through his death and resurrection Jesus breaks down the walls of hostility and division by reconciling us with God. He gives us his Holy Spirit both to purify us and restore us as a holy people of God. Through Christ we become living temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  God has visited his people in the past and he continues to visit us through the gift and working of his Holy Spirit. Do you recognize God’s gracious visitation today?

God judges, pardons, heals, and restores us to new life
When God visits his people he comes to establish peace and justice for us by rooting out the sin which cling to us. The Lord sets us free from all the forces that seek to lead us  away from God and his will for our lives. Scripture calls these sinful forces (1 John 2:15-16, and 1 John5:19) the world – that society of people who are opposed to God and his ways, the flesh – our own sinful cravings or inordinate desires that lead us into sin, and thedevil (called Satan and the father of lis) who tempts us to go our own way apart from God. God judges sin and  he purifies his people to heal and restore us to his way of holiness, peace, and love. God our Father disciplines those whom he loves for our good so that we may share his holiness (Hebrews 12:6,10).

Are God’s judgments unjust or unloving? Scripture tells us that “when God’s judgments are revealed in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9). To pronounce judgment on sin is much less harsh than what will happen if those who sin are not warned to repent. The Lord in his mercy gives us grace and time to turn away from sin, but that time is right now. If we delay, even for a moment, we may discover that grace has passed us by and our time is up. Do you accept the grace and strength God gives to help us to turn away from sin and to walk in his way of love and holiness?

“Lord Jesus, you have visited and redeemed your people. May I not miss the grace of your visitation today as you move to bring your people into greater righteousness and holiness of life. Purify my heart and mind that I may I understand your ways and conform my life more fully to your will.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/nov20.htm http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Edmund Rich, Patron of Abingdon, Oxfordshire; Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth; St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (1175-1240)

Archbishop of Canterbury England, who battled for discipline and justice, also called Edmund of Abingdon. Born in Abingdon, on November 30, 1180. he studied at Oxford, England, and in Paris, France. He taught art and mathematics at Oxford and was ordained. He spent eight years teaching theology and became Canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral. An eloquent speaker, Edmund preached a crusade for Pope Gregory IX and was named archbishop of Canterbury. He became an advisor to King Henry III and presided in 1237 at Henry’s ratification of the Great Charter. When Cardinal Olt became a papal legate with the patronage of King Henry, Edmund protested. A long-lasting feud between Edmund, the king, and his legate led him to resigning his see in 1240. He went to Pontigny, France, where he became a Cistercian. He died at Soissons, on November 16. Edmund was canonized in 1246 or 1247. A hall in Oxford bears his name. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3048

More Saints of the Day

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark. RAM

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