THURSDAY

It's always a good idea to read the Gospel passage before listening to or reading the reflection. 
CLICK HERE to read today's Gospel passage
CLICK HERE to listen to this reflection on the 5 Minute Gospel Podcast

Our Gospel passage for today, gives us Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem which took place in 70 AD. Jesus’s words, as Luke recounts them, are graphic. Jerusalem will be ‘laid desolate’, there will be ‘great misery’ and people ‘dying for fear’. 

Luke shows the destruction of Jerusalem as linked to the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders. They compromised their faith by openning their hearts to ‘the pagans’ – to the world – but closed their hearts to Jesus. Because of this, the Gospel tells us: 

‘Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.’ 
What can you and I take away from this Gospel passage? 

In a world which holds many ideas and values contrary to our own, you and I must make sure we do not open our hearts to ‘pagan’ values. We keep our hearts open to Jesus. 

Just like the Jewish leaders of Jerusalem, we can slip into compromising our faith when we let our hearts be seduced by contemporary values. 

Let’s be honest. Many of the world’s values are very attractive. Being accepted by our peers is attractive. Getting more and more is attractive. Who would not be tempted to try to make their lives the happiest, the best, the healthiest, the richest, the most fashionable? 

The danger is that when we open our hearts to working for these values, we run the risk (as the Gospel says) of being ‘trampled down by the pagans’. We run the risk of letting the world’s values trample us down and dominate our lives. 

In the face of being bombed every day by values contrary to our own, we need to stop, to stand back and look at our lives.  And we need to do this every day. Every day we need moments alone in silence and reflection with Jesus. This helps us to see more clearly the values that are guiding our lives. 

Every day, we need to see the Son of Man comingto us and let Jesus be in our lives. 

We must not ‘be trampled down by the pagans’, instead we must hear Jesus saying to us each day: 

‘stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’ 

Spending time each day in alone with Jesus reminds us that ‘our liberation is near at hand’. Daily prayer reminds us that Jesus is near at hand, always with us, ready to guide and help us. 

On Sunday we begin ‘Advent’ - a time to remember the Lord who comes to us. 

  • Advent is a time to ‘see the Son of Man coming’ into our lives every day. 

  • It is time to remind ourselves that our ‘liberation is near at hand’ - that Jesus is always close to us. 

  • It is a time to see the values that are important to us and a time to ensure we are not trampled down by values contrary to those of Jesus. 

Let’s pray, as we move toward the season of Advent, that we will renew our willingness to see Jesus coming to us and welcome him into our lives every day.