Preceding Christ in his Passion

TUESDAY: Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Zec.8:20-23/Ps.86/Lk.9:51-56


Preceding Christ in his Passion

God mandated that at the end of this earthly sojourn we return to the Father’s house to live with him forever. We may try to take shortcuts to the Father’s house but there is none nor are there any relaxed options to that destination. Our First parents tried; they failed. The children of Babel also tried but failed miserably. In Christ Jesus, God mapped out for us the challenging route for our final destination.


History, repeatedly reminds us: once we deviate from that route, we will encounter obstructions and difficulties. God has a way of setting up blockades along the wrong paths only to gently force us back along the right path to the intended destination he has in mind for us.


God has one final destination in mind for all his children – new earth, new heaven, and a New Jerusalem. In Christ, God initiated the process of building this New Jerusalem, a prototype of the eternal Jerusalem, our eternal home. In this earthly Jerusalem, God invites us to witness and participate in the Passion of his Son Jesus Christ, in anticipation of the eternal reward God has in mind for us. Sending his disciples ahead of him to prepare for his own Passion is an example of what the Church in the world is presently engaged in. Working towards becoming a living sacrifice to prepare the world for the Lord’s second coming.


There is no mistaken identity between Jerusalem above and a Samaritan village. Proverbially speaking, we have been to too many Samaritan villages already. Each time we are kicked out like soccer balls. Why because God’s purpose for the creation of humankind and their initiation into Christ Jesus is to know God, love, him, server him and to live with him forever. Our destination is the eternal Jerusalem. The Passion and Cross of Christ depict for us the challenges we must endure. Looking for escapes or for shortcuts will only add to our distress and prolong the journey. Be contented, therefore, when we face hostility or are unwelcome. God speaks to us even when we are in the wrong places at the wrong times.


Today Christ repeats his challenge to the Church: go ahead of him to prepare for his Passion. The Church in our present context is in agony and so is Christ. We are presently reliving the Passion of Christ. That with Christ we will redeem the world and give the New Jerusalem an opportunity to become a reality.


O God, grant us the will and courage to persevere even when the journey seems longer and more difficult than we previously anticipated.

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