Daily Reflection – Sep 27, 2016
Tuesday 27 September 2016
First Reading: Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Let my prayer come before you, Lord
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:51-56
Today’s Saint: St Vincet de Paul, Priest (Memorial)
When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)
Surgery looms—or a tax audit or a trip to the dentist. Sometimes we have to set our faces resolutely to the unpleasantness ahead and keep moving forward, even if it’s all we can think about.
That’s not the case with Jesus. Surely thoughts about the horrible death that awaited him were in his mind as he “resolutely determined” to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). But one thought, which he expressed as he passed through Jericho, prevailed: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost” (19:10).
Jesus came for all men and women, even the ones who don’t understand him or his message. Even the ones who reject him and, like the Samaritans, refuse to welcome him. Even us. None of the suffering to come overshadowed his desire to seek and save. He didn’t give heed to the thoughts that reminded him who we are or what we’ve done. He treasures us—all of us—too much. That’s how deeply he wants us to be with him.
Jesus places no limits on whom he will and will not accept. Zacchaeus the tax collector, pawn of the Romans and despised by the Jews, received Jesus and salvation, joyfully. Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, welcomed him and traveled with him and the apostles. The thief who hung on the cross next to him begged to enter the kingdom of heaven, and he promised him paradise that very day. Lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery—Jesus loves you and invites you to turn to him.
He never gives up on you either. Even to those who don’t welcome him at first, he gives another chance. And another. And another. He is as resolute and determined in his pursuit of you as he was in his journey to the cross. The Samaritans finally accepted Jesus “with one accord” and in “crowds” when Philip preached, some years after Jesus’ death and resurrection (Acts 8:6). Healed and delivered, they were filled with joy. Jesus is never too put off to be merciful. May we never give up hope—for ourselves or our loved ones!
“Jesus, you came to seek and save me. You are welcome in my life!”