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JESUS NEVER WANTS TO LOSE ONE OF US

Father Francis's picture
Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Rom. 8:31-39 & Lk. 13:31-35

Scripture scholars maintain that the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans was his masterpiece, capturing much of his theology in the most refined manner. In today’s reading Paul concludes that we who live in the Spirit cannot fail because we have so much going for us. "Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ."

Life is full of temptations, dangers and sin. The power of sin is all around us, and there is not a person alive today who has not given into its allures at one time or another. Yet it is important to know that Jesus will always draw us back to Him, His love like a powerful magnet. Nothing - not our past sins, not the most powerful temptation and not even the strongest demon - can keep us from the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus wants to tell us that every day.

Only one thing can separate us from Christ's love – ourselves because we can reject it, ignore it, distance ourselves from it or crowd it out with inferior loves. This is what Jerusalem did as the Lord describes its hardness of heart and what could have been. We can imagine the Lord grieving in the same way today when any person turns from His love.

This passage from the Letter to the Romans reminds us that Christ’s redeeming love is all around us like the oxygen we breathe. We do not have to go hunting for it. It is here. We have only to accept it, embrace it and to know that whatever happens to us Christ is there to give us spiritual victory. When we keep our faith and Christian identity in anything that happens to us we win.

Jesus never missed an opportunity to challenge people so that He could make them better. He challenged the Pharisees and had success with Nicodemus who was one of them. But there is one person He seems to have given up on and that was Herod. Even at His trial Jesus never had one word to say to Him. He was not going to throw His precious pearls before a swine! It must have been that Herod was so very stubborn in his evil ways.

In today's Gospel we see the Pharisees warning Jesus that He ought to leave the area because Herod intended to kill Him. Jesus was afraid of no one. He told the Pharisees to go and tell that fox he would not stop Him doing good work and that He realised that Jerusalem is the place where prophets are martyred.

Jesus then reveals His sadness with all the feeling in His heart. How He longed to save the people of Jerusalem, to take each one of them to His bosom and love them so that not one would be lost. Instead He would be martyred in this city He loved.

As we recall the sadness of Jesus let us tell Him that we want Him to take us all, our loved ones and our neighbours, to His bosom just like a hen gathers her brood under her wings, so that not one of us would be lost.

Heavenly Father, forgive us our sins, and lead us all to Heaven there to be happy with You forever.

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