Oct 1 (Lk 9:51-56)

A classic riddle, known to most of us, goes thus….

There were 5 frogs sitting on a fence, at the edge of the river.

3 of them, decided to jump.

How many are left on the fence?

Well, the answer (without any twists or catch…) is simple…

…. 5

Why 5?

Simply, because,  of the 5 frogs, the 3 of them only DECIDED to jump!

>> It is not mentioned whether they actually jumped!

Every decision need not have to be actually materialised!

>> It is not necessary that every decision is really actualised!

This aspect is very true and often found in our lives, isn’t it?

>> Many of us at the start of the new year, would have “decided” many resolutions…

… How many of us are fulfilling them? (Hopefully, some of us, atleast remember what were they!)

>> At the end of a good retreat, perhaps many of us “decided” to cultivate some good spiritual practices…

… How many of are able to still say that, “yes, I am faithfully following them?”

>> Having made a meaningful confession, we would have “decided” to part ways with some sinful habits…

… How many of us are zealously resistant in yielding to those former ways?

We constantly find ourselves, at a loss in translating…

… our decisions into practise

… our determinations into realistic actions.

This is where, we need to look up to our Blessed Lord, Who not just “decided and was determined”…

… but also lived them – with zeal and passion!

The Gospel of the Day is this crucial moment in the life of Jesus, as described in the Gospel of Luke…

… when “he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem” (Lk 9: 51)

Jerusalem is an important dimension in the theology of the Gospel of St Luke.

>> All the events in the life of Jesus are oriented towards this city – the city of His ancestor David

The whole Gospel begins and ends in Jerusalem…

… begins in the Jerusalem Temple (Zechariah meeting Angel – Lk 1: 5ff)

… ends in the Jerusalem Temple (Apostles continually in the Temple – Lk 24:53)

The infancy story of Jesus in the Gospel, also begins and ends in Jerusalem…

… begins in the Jerusalem Temple (Zechariah meeting Angel – Lk 1: 5ff)

… ends with Joseph and Mary finding Jesus in the Temple ( Lk 2:42-52)

Further…

>> The Temptations of Jesus in this Gospel (unlike in St Matthew) ends in Jerusalem (Lk 4: 9-13)

The whole public ministry of Jesus, in this Gospel, is a “journey towards Jerusalem”…

… culminating in His passion, death and resurrection!

Why is ‘Jerusalem’ so central to St Luke?

One of the reasons, was because, this Gospel was primarily written for the Gentile Christians (non-Jews).

>> (Historically, it was a time of persecution, with the Jerusalem Temple being destroyed)

Jerusalem was the centre of the Jewish religion!

>> God had promised many blessings to the Jewish nation.

But now, even the centre of the religion – Jerusalem –  had been under persecution!

What message where the Gentile Christians drawing from this “unfortunate” incident of Jerusalem being captured?

>> Has God forgotten His promises to the people of Israel?

>> Were the people of Israel abandoned by the Lord Yahweh?

It is in this context, that St Luke places “Jerusalem” at the centre of his message.

>> And tells the people…

… that God has not abandoned His people

… that God’s ways though not understood, are always for our good!

And thus, we see Jesus marching, with “determination and decisiveness” towards Jerusalem!

His “determination and decisiveness” was not merely in words…

… instead, was lived out with zeal and passion!

The message of the Gospel is powerful and vivid before us….

Just like the city of “Jerusalem”, we may often find ourselves to feel…

… that my life is full of suffering and struggles

… that my life has no future or is hopeless

… that I am abandoned by everyone, even perhaps by God, in my difficult moments

But the Lord, invites and challenges us, to move…

… with “determination and decisiveness” towards this “Jerusalem” of our life!

Jesus did not shy away from the hard way of life…

… and He expects, all of us, His followers to also imitate Him!

It’s easy to take decisions….

… but we need to translate them into concrete expressions!

Let us seek to be the Followers of the Zealous and Passionate Lord….

… and be determined to have our every decision, in the spiritual realm, to be actually materialised!

As we thank the Lord for the gift of all the blessings in the month of September, let us offer the new month of October into His Safe and Caring Hands…

… especially seeking the help of our Blessed Mother by praying the Rosary daily, in this Month of the Rosary – October!

Today we also tenderly beseech the help of the Little Flower – St Therese of Child Jesus – on her feast day and give heed to her words:

“Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.”

Happy Feast of the Little Flower!

God bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Great occasions for serving God come seldom…

… but little ones surround us daily!”

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