Daily Reflection – Aug 14, 2016
Sunday 14 August 2016
First Reading: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Lord, come to our aid!
Psalm 39(40):2-4, 18
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:1-4
Gospel Reading: Luke 12:49-53
Today’s Note: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
. . . keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2)
At one point during the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land, God told them to make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. That way, anyone who was bitten by a serpent could look at the bronze snake and live (Numbers 21:8-9). Likewise, Jesus told Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
On one level, fixing our eyes on Jesus is a physical action. We look at the cross hanging in our church or our home, and the very image fills us with wonder. On a deeper level, the author of Hebrews is asking us to fix our “spiritual eyes” on Jesus—the eyes of our hearts, so to speak, so that we can come in touch with the mind of Christ.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will see his tender love for us. He knows us intimately. He never looks down on us, threatens us, or rejects us. He is always calling out to us, “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we will hear him telling us that we can count on him. We will hear him say, “My word is unchanging” (1 Peter 1:25). “My salvation is unchanging” (Hebrews 7:24-25). “My love is unchanging” (Jeremiah 31:3). “My gifts are unchanging” (James 1:17). And “I myself am unchanging” (Malachi 3:6).
So today, fix your eyes on Jesus, so that the presence of God can become your strength. Like Moses, insist on being in his presence (Exodus 33:13-15). Like King David, confess that you can’t live without him (Psalm 27:8). You will find your time with Jesus becoming the most important part of your day. Why? Because just as Jesus promised Nicodemus, you will find yourself being lifted up to heaven!
“Lord, I fix my eyes on you. You are the author and perfecter of my faith.”