Thursday, March 14
Christians are called to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ life and death and on the role we play in continuing his mission. As in all the gospels, the Pharisees in Luke are largely antagonistic to Jesus and Jesus to them. Though the Pharisees’ motives seem problematic, Luke 23:8 suggests Herod’s interest in Jesus was not in killing him. In fact, when given the chance to condemn Jesus, Herod refused to do so. Of course, we cannot be sure of Herod because he had both imprisoned and executed John the Baptist.
To reinforce that Herod has no control over him, Jesus adds that he will be doing these things “today and tomorrow” (Luke 13:32), which may be referencing the resurrection. It is the following verse that makes it clear that it is his death that Jesus primarily has in mind: “Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:33)
Lent is preparing us to experience Jesus’ cross. We are called to do so by considering whether our lives lead appropriately to that cross. Can we make sense of our lives as part of the establishment of God’s kingdom in our world? Are we frightened from our mission by threats of earthly rulers? Or consider this: were Jesus to speak prophetically to us, what would his message be? Or how have we resisted God’s messages and kingdom and/or what difference does it make for us during and beyond Eastertide? Certainly, these are imperative questions to weigh from today’s meditation.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we ask often that we may do your will on earth as it is in heaven. Yet, our lives here make understanding your divine will difficult, if not rather confusing at times. During Lent, may our prayer and reflections on your teachings bring clarity to our mission and lasting strength for the journey. In Christ name we pray. Amen.