Thursday of the ThirtiethWeek in Ordinary Time
The gifts of God are irrevocable
At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. (But) I tell you, you will not see me until (the time comes when) you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” Lk 13,31-35
Herod Antipas, who commanded to decapitate John the Baptist, probably mentioned around to plan to kill Jesus of Nazaret. Jesus, however, is not afraid of him, because, being aware that he was artful as a fox, he thought that Herod would have considered the suppression of him, who was already quite well known and followed in Galilee, a not popular move. These are days when Jesus is meditating to quit that region and to transfer himself and the disciples to Jerusalem. In fact, “it is not possible that a prophet dies outside Jerusalem”, a city to which the touching prophecy of the today passage is referred: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how many times I had to gather your sons, as a hen with her brood of chickens! There you are, your house is abandoned to you!”. After, suddenly, the prophecy has a positive conclusion and it evokes the day when the Jew people will be converted and it will say: “ Blessed the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”. It is thinking to this prophecy of Jesus that Paul, in the letter to the Romans, will say: “a hardening had come upon Israel in part, until the full number of the Gentiles comes in, and thus all Israel will be saved” ( Rom 11, 25-26). It is clear both to Jesus and Paul that the new arrival of Israel in the history of the salvation is part of the plan of God, but this – says the apostle – will take place after all the pagans will be converted. So the church, born from the rib of Israel as Eve from Adams, is destined to become the vehicle of conversion of the Jew people. This event is announced by the conclusion of the today passage. The reason of the being back of the Jew people in the history of the salvation, according to Paul, reflects the fact that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” ( Rom 11,29 ). This is a matter of consolation for all those who are called to the faith: they could disband and also lose themselves, but eventually they will be back to the Lord, because also the faith, as gift of God is not revocable.