Thursday 19 November
Today is Thursday the 19 November, in the 33rd week of Ordinary Time.
Jodi Penner sings Be Near Me Still.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
As he came near & saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you & surround you, & hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you & your children within you, & they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.’
William Blake, the famous English poet, once said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but foresight is better…..” Perhaps you’ve said the same words yourself or felt the same way when looking back at what turned out to be a missed opportunity? Perhaps this phrase encapsulates a frustration you may be experiencing during these strange and challenging days of the CoVid 19 pandemic. Whatever you are feeling at this time, pause and imagine the moment Jesus looks over Jerusalem as he weeps…
Luke sees the whole of Jesus’ life and ministry as a visitation on God’s part to Israel and the world. Zechariah in his canticle, the Benedictus, praises God who has visited his people and redeemed them. From the start the question is: how will this visitor be received? On Tuesday we heard Jesus say of Zacchaeus: “I must stay at your house today.” Those who receive Jesus find that he brings them into a much wider sphere of hospitality: the hospitality of God. The one who comes as visitor becomes host and offers hospitality to everyone – no one is excluded.
As I listen to the reading again, can I sense Jesus’ longing to be recognised and allowed into my life?
Zechariah sang “He has visited his people and redeemed them.” The crowd at the raising of the only son of the widow of Nain celebrate the visitation of the Lord. The disciples at Emmaus recognised, eventually, Jesus’ continued presence with them. In what ways have I experienced the Lord’s visitation? Ask the Lord to help you to recognise His presence in your life today.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.