SATURDAY, TWENTY FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Zec 2: 1-5, 10-11; Jer 31: 10-13; Lk 9: 43-45
PULLING DOWN OUR WALLS
Jerusalem, in today’s first reading, a symbol of the Church, is to remain ‘unwalled’- to make room for countless peoples. The Lord is her ‘Glory’, dwelling in the ‘midst of her’ and a ‘wall of fire’ to protect her. Who is the Church? Isn’t it you and me? As individuals, as a family, as a faith community, as a universal fraternity? Can I see Jesus and experience firsthand, him dwelling within me, within my family relationships, within my social circles, my faith community and also in the midst of anyone and everyone around me, in any time or circumstance? Can I remain with my own heart ‘unwalled’, embracing each and all? We have to concede that there are many times we find it difficult to remain thus – vulnerable, open and seemingly defenseless. At these times, today’s scripture is a booster from heaven; “I will be a wall of fire all around her…”
In the Gospel, we meet the ‘unwalled’ Jesus, open to the will of the Father in its stark reality. The admiration of the crowds did not overwhelm him, nor did the knowledge of sufferings come to rob him of his capacity to live and enjoy fully his mission. Jesus tries to imprint this outlook on his apostles. But we see them, just like us many times, ‘walled in’ by their own ideas and concepts of what reality, and following Jesus, should be. And so, the true meaning in Jesus’ words is hidden from them. Human as they were, they instinctively shunned the thought of suffering, ‘afraid to ask him’ what he really meant.
However, the good thing about Jesus is that he understands this weakness, knowing that time and grace will eventually work wonders in their lives. Maybe today I could take some time to identify with the help of the Holy Spirit, those ‘walled-in’ areas of my life, and offer them to Jesus to be opened and shared with others, thus paving the way for opportunities for me to encounter that ‘wall of fire’ promised by God.
Response: The Lord will keep us, as a shepherd keeps his flock.
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