Jesus is undeterred by Herod’s death threats and laments the foresaken house of Jerusalem. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Virtue of Faith so he can always believe in the reality that God has absolute Providence over evil and by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can use effectively support the Catholic remnant in an unholy world.
30th Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Lk 13:31-35
After warning of the need for repentance and fruitfulness, Jesus revealed many wish to be saved and appear to be pious, but few will enter through the “Narrow Door” of Heaven because most do not truly repent and give themselves completely to God. Some Pharisees come and tell Jesus to flee because King Herod is seeking to kill Him. The Pharisees don’t care about Christ’s fate; they are furious because Jesus had rebuked their false piety and are jealous of the crowds who are flocking to Jesus.
Jesus sees through the Pharisees’ attempts to frighten Him. Jesus uses the derogatory term “fox” in referring to Herod’s deviousness and shrewdness, demonstrating His fearlessness of worldly power. Cryptically, He refers to His coming Passion by mentioning that a prophet cannot perish away from Jerusalem, and that He will finish His course on the “third day”, a mysterious allusion to His Resurrection.
Jesus laments the hardness of His chosen people’s hearts, their stubborn resistance to hearing God’s word, and their stoning of the prophets. Because of their sinfulness and rejection of the mercy God offers, rather than offering protection, Jesus, saying, “Your house is forsaken”, reveals that God has withdrawn His support for the earthly Jerusalem. Jesus’ phrase, “Blessed is he…”, prophetically reveals He will soon be hailed as a king by some on Psalm Sunday, but also looks forward to His Second Coming when all in Jerusalem will welcome Him as the Divine King.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus, the Divine Prophet, acts and speaks when He is warned of life-threatening danger: Jesus Humorously Mocks Herod (“that fox”), who has the power to detain and kill, and Rebukes the Pharisees who seek to manipulate Him; with Divine Knowledge, Jesus reveals His coming murder and that God the Father will remove His protection of Jerusalem (forsake, an allusion to the absolute destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.) for their rejection of the Son; the perfection of Fortitude, Jesus courageously confronts evil and, undeterred, perseveres to face His horrific murder.
Believe in God’s absolute Providence over evil
Realize: Grave scandals of immense evil by leaders have swept over God’s people from the beginning, including Israel’s worship of false gods and murder of the prophets, and the more recent priest sex crimes and coverups; many Catholic men lose faith, become discouraged, and drift away from the Church.
Believe: Reflect upon Providence and the Scandal of Evil (CCC 309-314, 324).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I have a strong and unbending faith in Your Divine Providence to cleanse Your Church of the current wicked and sorrowful scandals and I remain a faithful Catholic man.
Prudently support the faithful Catholic remnant
Realize: While God withdrew His protection of Israel when they rebelled against Him and were exiled, He also nurtured a small remnant during the Exile upon which Jerusalem was eventually rebuilt; every Catholic man should prudently prepare for a period of exile and decline as a result of the grave scandals in the Church, and accept his role as part of the new Catholic “remnant.”
Believe: Reflect upon Exile (CCC 709-710, 771, 1081, 1093, 2581, 2811) and the Remnant (709-711, 1081).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I am faithfully guided by You to shrewdly support small groups of faithful Catholic priests and men in devout parishes, who will be Your remnant in the coming dark days; Jesus, my Lord and Savior, strengthen my prudence by allowing me to receive Your Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.