Today’s Thought: “They will not leave a stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:44) Jesus looking over the city of Jerusalem looking ahead to its time of destruction at the hands of the Romans. A city that did not recognize the presence of God at the most crucial time of its history. Yet, it is not the city, the stone, wood and mortar that fails to recognize the presence of God it is its’ people!
Jesus has walked Jerusalem’s streets. He has prayed at its’ temple. Jesus has healed, forgiven and celebrated the gift of God’s love within Jerusalem’s walls, yet the people of Jerusalem failed to recognize his visit, his presence. It is a sad moment for Jesus, it is a sad moment for us.
The last three days we have encountered stories of great faith from the Books of Maccabees. People responding to the presence of God in their lives against logic, conventional wisdom and self-preservation. They have made their choices based on a faith and trust in the presence of God in their lives. They have thought of others more than themselves.
I wonder if we could look upon Jesus today as he sits not just looking at Jerusalem but at all the cities of the world might he be thinking and feeling the same thing. Might he be crying as he looks upon us and saying one day one stone will not lay upon another in our world because we are missing our time of visitation.
We honor as heroic many who go charging into battle but rarely if ever do, we honor as heroic those who go charging into peace. I truly believe God is in our midst however we seem to spend a great deal of time thinking only of ourselves and because of our self-centeredness, our selfishness we just might be missing our time of visitation.
Let us look around today not out of fear and self-centeredness but let us look around for the saving power of God in our midst.
Extra Note: If you happen to use the readings for the feast today – The Presentation of Mary – you will encounter a beautiful few verses from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah and a few perplexing verses from Mathew’s Gospel.
From Zechariah we here about Christ coming amongst us, of dwelling with us, of coming forth from his holy dwelling – Mary! Zechariah presents beautiful imagery of God’s presence amongst us with Mary inferred at the holy dwelling from which Christ blesses the world.
In Matthew’s Gospel we have those curious verses of someone in the crowd telling Jesus that his mother and brothers are here to see him, but Jesus says, “Who are my mother and brothers.” Jesus goes on to say pointing at all gathered, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father
is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Jesus seems to ignore his mother or slight her presence. If we look at Jesus’ words a different way, perhaps Jesus is truly honoring his mother as the example by which we can be part of the family. If we believe, if we do the will of God just like Mary, we are truly part of the family!
Have a great Feast of the Presentation of Mary and Thursday everyone.
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...