A Gospel Reflection by Deacon Kurt Heinrich
Thursday, October 15, 2020
28th week in Ordinary Time
The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
Dear Friends and Family,
Jesus shares with the scribes and the Pharisees the consequences of their actions. Jesus is the Truth which the scribes and the Pharisees do not want to hear. His Truth unites the actions of the scribes and Pharisees with their disobedient ancestors. The scribes and Pharisees further convict themselves through the hostility they direct toward Jesus. They listen but do not understand. Their lack of understanding will ultimately result in their condemnation.
The wisdom and truth of Jesus demands a response. The Jewish leaders of our Gospel passage act with hostility after listening to Jesus, following in the footsteps of their Old Testament ancestors who rejected the prophets. The Word of God demands a response from us as well. We might choose to follow the path of the scribes and Pharisees, rejecting the love Jesus extends to us. We might also decide to accept the redirection of Jesus. When we do accept Jesus’ Word, our understanding grows and our relationship with God flourishes. Each day, we are given a choice: accept the love of God in our lives and thrive or reject the love of God and die. God’s justice will not be denied. The consequences are stark because the love of God is so good and oriented to our redemption. Let us pray for ourselves and those marginalized by our society. Let us pray that we are given the strength and grace to accept God’s will.