Nov 12 2020 Reflection
Thursday 12 November 2020
First Reading: PHMN 7-20
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
PS 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10
Gospel Reading: LK 17:20-25
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”
Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”
The Kingdom of God is among you. (Luke 17:21)
When Jesus told these Pharisees that the kingdom of God was among them, he was telling them that he was the One ushering in the kingdom. This was a hard thing for the Pharisees to grasp. They had been looking for the Messiah and his kingdom for years, and were confident they would spot it based on their understanding of the Scriptures. But it was right in front of them in a surprising way. It arrived in the person of a humble carpenter and in a place and a manner they didn’t foresee.
Like these Pharisees, we all carry certain expectations that may prevent us from seeing the Lord among us. For example, maybe one of your adult children needs to come back to your home for a while. You might have been enjoying the peace and quiet of an empty nest, but then you realize that God is giving you an opportunity to spend extra time with your child and to cultivate a deeper relationship. Or maybe you unexpectedly had to relocate for your job. Though you did not want to move, you have discovered blessings in your new location—a vibrant parish or new friendships, for example.
In all the surprises life throws at us, God wants us to focus on one thing: he is in our midst—“the Kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). And because of that, we can trust that he will bring good out of every situation we face. Change and transition may be challenging. Loss can be upsetting. Sometimes even staying still can be difficult. But God will never abandon us. He will always be at our side, whether our situation is a surprise or not.
Because the kingdom came in a way they weren’t expecting, these Pharisees struggled to receive it as a blessing. Instead of finding the blessings of having Jesus with them, they clung to their own understanding and opposed him. While it can be hard to let go of our ideas or plans, Jesus wants us to trust him in the unexpected. If we do, we will experience not only his presence but all the ways he wants to bless us.
“Jesus, in every situation, whether expected or not, I trust in you.”