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Gospel for Thursday,

November 23, 2017

Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

 

Know the time of your visitation

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint 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.”

 

Meditation:

What enables us to live in peace and harmony with our families, neighbors, local communities, and the wider community of peoples and nations? 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, the throne of the Lord (Jeremiah 3:17);and the place which God chose for his name to dwell there (1 Kings 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.

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 history, many of the rulers and inhabitants – because of their pride and unbelief – had rejected the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Now they refuse to listen to Jesus who comes as their Messiah – whom God has anointed to be their Savior and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was a gracious visitation of God’s anointed Son and King to his holy city. Jerusalem’s lack of faith and rejection of the Messiah, however, leads to its eventual downfall 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 Jesus 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 of healing and restoration today?

When God visits his people he comes to establish peace and justice by rooting out our enemies – the world (which stands in opposition to God), the flesh (our own sinful cravings and inordinate desires), and the devil (who is Satan, the father of lies and a murderer from the beginning – John 8:44) who enslave us to fear and pride, rebellion and hatred, envy and covetousness, strife and violence, and every form of evil and wrong-doing. That is why God both judges and purifies his people – to lead us from our sinful ways to his way of justice, peace, love, and holiness. God actively works among his people to teach us his ways and to save us from the destruction of our own pride and sin and from Satan’s snares and lies.

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 to turn away from sin and to walk in God’s way of peace and holiness?

 

Introductory Prayer:

Lord Jesus, many times I have overlooked your love in the circumstances of my life. I know you are always present, even if I don’t feel your love. This time of prayer is an opportunity to show you my love, and I truly desire to bring you consolation as you so often bring consolation to me.
 
Petition:

Heavenly Father, help me to stand firm amidst the vicissitudes of life.
 
1. “As for Me and My Household, We Will Serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
The beauty of this life is that it offers us so many options. We have all been given the grace of free will, and we can choose to do many things. We can choose where we would like to work, where we want to vacation, who our friends are, what we are going to do this very moment. But the most important choice we make in life is to decide whether to love and serve God or to deny him. God’s greatest, natural gift to us is free will, and with it we direct our own destiny. What a truly beautiful soul who chooses to spend his life serving God! Clearly opting for God and his ways gives direction to a person’s life and provides clarity in moments of darkness and trial.
 
2. The Time to Prepare for a Storm Is Now: The worst time to clean out the gutters is in the middle of a thunder storm. And that roof would have worked a lot better had it been fixed before a week of rain. The concept of being prepared is so hard for us human beings. Christ told his disciples, “Watch and pray, that you may not undergo the test” (Matthew 26:41). He was saying, “Be prepared. You never know when temptations or tough times are going to strike.”
 
3. Holding the Fort: The spiritual life is a lot like a castle. A castle has its strong points and its not-so-strong points. It has a moat, high stone walls and turrets, but it also has a gate made only of wood. Each of us has one or two things that can be likened to that wooden gate. We all have our weaknesses, but do we know what those weaknesses are? One of the keys to being able to resist sin is self-knowledge. If we know ourselves, we can avoid putting ourselves in compromising situations. We can use our strong points to fight the enemy and fortify those areas that are the weakest. In the end, the strongest weapon we have both to resist and to fight is our dependence on the Lord – our prayer and fidelity to his will!
 
Conversation with Christ:

Jesus, I don’t want to base my life just on feelings and on what makes me happy. I want to live for you, to take a risk for you.
 
Resolution:

I will start a constant prayer life by praying the Rosary every day this week

 

Prayer:

“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.”

Evangelio del jueves,

23 de noviembre, 2017

Jueves de la trigésima tercera semana del tiempo ordinario

 

Jesús llora sobre Jerusalén

Del santo Evangelio según

San Lucas 19, 41-44
En aquel tiempo, al acercarse y ver la ciudad, lloró por ella, diciendo: ¡Si también tú conocieras en este día el mensaje de paz! Pero ahora ha quedado oculto a tus ojos. Porque vendrán días sobre ti, en que tus enemigos te rodearán de empalizadas, te cercarán y te apretarán por todas partes, y te estrellarán contra el suelo a ti y a tus hijos que estén dentro de ti, y no dejarán en ti piedra sobre piedra, porque no has conocido el tiempo de tu visita.

Palabra del Señor
 
Oración introductoria
Jesús, este tiempo de oración es una oportunidad para mostrarte mi amor, ilumínalo porque hay muchas cosas que me distraen. Mírame, Señor, con ese amor con que miraste a Jerusalén y ven a hospedarte en mi alma para poder resistir las tentaciones del mundo.
 
Petición
Señor, haz que venga hoy tu salvación a mi alma.
 

Meditación del Papa Francisco

También esta enseñanza de Jesús es importante verla en el contexto concreto, existencial en la que Él la ha transmitido. En este caso, el evangelista Lucas nos muestra Jesús que está caminando con sus discípulos hacia Jerusalén, hacia su Pascua de muerte y resurrección, y en este camino les educa confiándoles lo que Él mismo lleva en el corazón, las actitudes profundas de su alma.  Entre estas actitudes están el desapego de los bienes terrenos, la confianza en la providencia del Padre y, también, la vigilancia interior, la espera activa del Reino de Dios. Para Jesús es la espera de la vuelta a la casa del Padre. Para nosotros es la espera de Cristo mismo, que vendrá a cogernos para llevarnos a la fiesta sin fin» Si nosotros caemos en esta insensatez y nos alejamos, él experimenta esta nostalgia. Nostalgia de nosotros. Hasta el punto que Jesús con esta nostalgia llora, lloró por Jerusalén: era la nostalgia de un pueblo que él había elegido, había amado, pero que se había alejado por insensatez; había preferido las apariencias, los ídolos o las ideologías.
(S.S. Francisco).
 
Reflexión
Jesús también lloraba, igual que tú. Tenía sentimientos, se alegraba con las buenas noticias de sus discípulos y se entristecía con la muerte de su amigo Lázaro. Igual que nosotros. Por eso conoce perfectamente el corazón humano, pues Él pasó por los mismos estados de ánimo que experimentamos nosotros.
Aquí le vemos llorar por Jerusalén, la ciudad del pueblo elegido, con quien Dios estableció su Alianza. Desde hacía siglos había escogido a Abrahán y a sus descendientes, confió a Moisés la misión de sacar al pueblo de la esclavitud, le dio un Decálogo, le guió con amor, le envió profetas y le preparó para la venida de su Hijo. ¡Cuánto esperaba Dios de ese pueblo! Sin embargo, vino Jesús a este mundo “y los suyos no le recibieron”.
La historia de Israel puede ser muy bien nuestra historia. El Señor pensó en cada uno de nosotros y nos dio la vida a través de nuestros padres. Luego nos hizo sus hijos adoptivos en el Bautismo. Y no ha cesado de derramar gracias para que seamos santos… Sin embargo, somos como la Jerusalén por la que Jesús lloró: fríos, insensibles a todos estos dones. ¿Cuántas veces meditamos en el sacrificio que hizo Jesús en la cruz por nuestros pecados (los de cada uno)?
Hoy intentaremos no ser el motivo de las lágrimas de Jesús. Vamos a acogerle y a poner en práctica su mandato -el de la caridad con todos-, pidiéndole que perdone nuestras infidelidades y nos dé a conocer “su mensaje de paz”.
 
Propósito
Hacer un esfuerzo por aprovechar más los medios de formación y crecimiento espiritual que me ofrece mi parroquia.
 

Diálogo con Cristo

Señor, no puedo cerrar mi corazón y ahogar en mi egoísmo mi celo apostólico. Fortaléceme, hazme generoso para crecer en el amor y dedicarme a mi misión con ahínco, y así, hacer cuanto pueda para que la Nueva Evangelización llegue a muchas más personas.

 

Despedida

Te damos gracias, Señor, por todos tus beneficios, a Ti que vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos.  Amén.

¡Cristo, Rey nuestro!  ¡Venga tu Reino!

Virgen prudentísima, María, Madre de la Iglesia.  Ruega por nosotros.

En el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo. Amén.