Today’s Thoughts: I have two reflections today – My first reflection is for those who are using the readings from Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time –
“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.
My second reflection is for those using the readings for the Mass of Thanksgiving Day – In the Gospel you hear the story of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) once again. We had the same story about two weeks ago. It is a rich and challenging story especially as we come together across our nation to celebrate this special day in our history.
The story of the one returning person who had been cured reminds us that amid the busyness of life we have got to pause and be thankful. Life is not always about "me!" It is about being grateful, being thankful and going to the Source of our Life with that gratitude! Shopping can wait, partying can wait – God, prayer, family and friends are in need of our attention! It is a matter of faith and that can make all the difference.
St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians says – "I give thanks to my God always on your account for the grace, [the gifts] of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus…." As we journey through life on this Thanksgiving Day let us be aware of God's grace and God’s many gifts and then think first about who makes this grace and these gifts possible and not just about ourselves and then be grateful even when it might be difficult.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your day and all who you will gather with to celebrate be blessed!
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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...