Reading: Luke 13:31-35
Reflection: Most of us, when faced with people who reject our help and end up in trouble, would say they deserved it. We would feel justified in writing those people off and turning our attention to our own needs and concerns.
But this is not the way of Jesus. In today’s reading, Jesus expresses his longing to protect and care for God’s people. But he also recognizes that the people are not interested in his offer. They prefer the ways of collaboration with power, or rebellion against power, to the way of peace and love. Jesus knows that the people will ultimately reject his message of simplicity, generosity, justice, and peace, and that they will reject him. He knows that if he continues on his way of love he will die, and that for most of the people of the city, his death will mean nothing.
Yet, in spite of all this, he refuses to reject the people and protect himself. Not even the people’s rejection is enough to make him stop loving and serving them. When Jesus preached that love for God and for neighbor (including enemies) was God’s highest command, he meant it, and he lived it all the way to the cross and beyond. It may not feel like it but choosing to love others irrespective of their attitude or actions toward us is a tremendously liberating and healing thing. This is the way that Jesus demonstrated for us, and to which he calls us. How can you practice this relentless love in your own life today?
Practice for Today: Forgiveness often feels like weakness. It can seem like we’re allowing others to take advantage of us, and we’re failing to demand the justice we need. But the truth is that failing to forgive is what makes us weak and unjust and leaves us at the mercy of others. Today, whenever you are tempted to choose justice, vengeance, or rejection over love, speak words of forgiveness, and cling to love even more.
Prayer for Today: When I am rejected or attacked, Jesus, teach me to follow your example of relentless love.
Communion with Christ
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