Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Truth about St. Therese Revealed

"Sentimental hogwash!"
That's what some Catholics still think about St. Thérèse of Lisieux.


They're put off by her sweet reputation and by sugary devotions to her.
Author Henri Gheon was once among those put off by Thérèse’s popularity. Then he discovered how many good Catholics, at home with simple devotions, were soon freed from the pretty-pretties that led them on.
He found the real Thérèse beneath the sugar roses and puffy clouds, behind the platitudes and pet-names that took all the salt out of her heroic story.


 Scores of books have been written about Thérèse, but none have taken an unflinching look at her life, sufferings, and sacrifices…

…until now.

book cover
The Truth About Thérèse is the first book aimed at those persons, Catholic or not, who resist her, put off by all those roses and crudely painted plastic statues—and even by her virtues.
Read the remarkable pages of this book to discover the real Thérèse of Lisieux, an intense soul living a life of heroic grandeur amidst dull and all-too-worldly associates—a soul driven by a burning love of God even as she wrestled privately with great physical and emotional pain.
This book will show you what lay beyond her smile, why she was canonized, and why Thérèse is the saint most fitted for our day—a model for those of us whom, whether we like it or not, God has called to hidden lives of quiet drama, desire, and holy sacrifice.

book cover
The Truth about Thérèse
by Henri Gheon
168 pgs ppbk $18.95

Order online above,or call
Sophia Institute Press
Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108 USA

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Sophia Institute Press
is the publishing division of

The publishing division of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and of Holy Spirit College.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011



One can almost feel joy leap from the pages of Scripture as we read the Gospel today. Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit because the will of the Father is being fulfilled in His very midst. There is a great sense of exultation and exuberant gratitude in Jesus’ prayer to the Father.

The disciples have just returned from the various ministries. They are overwhelmed at the wonders and marvels of God. As they report all that has been accomplished, Jesus responds in joy. That which has been kept hidden from the wise and the clever is being revealed to mere children, those not so knowledgeable. This is Jesus’ joy! This is also our joy. We have been given the blessing of the knowledge of the Father. Jesus has chosen us to have this knowledge.

Having made the public display of praise, He turns to His disciples in a very private way and proclaims their blessedness. They see and hear what the prophets of old have longed for — the coming of the Messiah. St. John of the Cross informs us that God has spoken one definitive word and that is Jesus the Word made Flesh. He has nothing more to say. The Church teaches us that Jesus is the revelation of the Father. He is the image of the invisible God — that is something to rejoice in. Jesus teaches us the will of the Father. He communicates the desires, hopes, plans and love of the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father.

In this time of Advent, let us imitate the joyous expression of Jesus. We are made co-sharers and co-workers in Jesus’ joy. Jesus has come into our midst to provide access to the Father. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. In Him, our hopes are restored and we find the true joy of salvation. In His name, we can rejoice because what has been hidden is now exposed and made clear to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our names are written in the book of Life. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
How is the revelation of Jesus made known to you?
Thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus has revealed Himself to me. Amen.
St. Sadwen, pray for us.

Monday, November 28, 2011



A foreigner, a Gentile, approaches Jesus. He asks Jesus to cure a servant who happens to be paralyzed. Jesus is amazed at the centurion’s faith. He simply asks Jesus to issue the command and the centurion believes that it will occur.

As a man of authority himself, he understands the power there is in issuing commands. He knows that people would obey him. People are under his authority. He commands and they act! Jesus is amazed at this act of faith. The faith of the centurion opens the door for Jesus to enter the world of the Gentiles. Jesus has come to save and heal.

The response of the centurion is the same response we proclaim to the Lord at the time of Holy Communion in Mass. When the priest raises the Sacred Host in his hand and points to the Lamb of God, we say, “Lord I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” These are the very same words of humility spoken by the centurion. We participate in the Lord’s Supper, the communion of love and life, healing and salvation of the Lord. May our faith please Him as we seek Him who is our Savior.

Advent is that time we remember that salvation has dawned upon us. During this time, we remember the humility of God in becoming a small child. He is born in utter poverty out of love for humanity. In this light, we want to respond in humility. Jesus comes under our roof, into our homes, into our hearts, into our lives, into our society. Are we ready to receive Him, the Healer and Savior of the world? The Greek wordsalous  is close to our English word saved. It is derived from the word “health.” So Jesus is Savior, the Health of the world, the Healer of the world. Fr.Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Pray that the Lord will come and heal those who are sick in your midst.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed. Amen.
St. James Thompson, Blessed, pray for us.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Today is the last day of the liturgical year. The Church has us reflect on the last things in today’s liturgy. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray that we may not be put to the test and that we may be delivered from evil. This is a prayer of protection for the last days, that we would endure and hold fast when the time of testing comes.

Jesus informs His disciples to pray constantly and pray for the strength to escape the final temptation to resist the enemy who is at hand. Jesus tells us that we are to be sober, not drunk in self-indulgence and revelry. The last day will come upon us like a trap as Jesus often explained in the parables. The Second Coming will not be unannounced. Unlike the destruction of the city of Jerusalem, all people will see the coming of the Son of Man. Jesus is kind and considerate. He knows how easily we forget these things.

Each day we should act as if it will be our last. We never know when we will be called back to the Living God. Death comes upon us so suddenly. Jesus is telling us the same thing — when He comes again, it will be sudden. Let us be watchful and vigilant at heart.

As we end another season (Ordinary Time), it is always good to see how we have been vigilant. Our hearts must be willing and able to meet the Lord when the call of death comes. Jesus informs us in the Gospel to be secure in the knowledge of God’s love for us. Let us live accordingly. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Have you been a faithful follower of Jesus?
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
St. Conrad, pray for us.

Friday, November 25, 2011



The first reading (Daniel 7:2-14is one of the four visions of Daniel. God has also bestowed the gift of insight upon Daniel. He gazes upon visions into the night, similar to what we hear in John’s revelations. The language is similarly apocryphal. Daniel completed the book shortly after the fall of the Babylonian Empire.

As Daniel gazes upon his visions, he notices four immense beasts. They represent the various empires that were to take dominance over the Jewish people, namely, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. As he gazes, he sees the sovereign God, the Ancient One, take His place upon the throne. As the books of judgment opened in heaven, he sees one like the son of man. In the new Covenant, this finds its fulfillment in Jesus, the Christ.

The great sea represents the world and all its people. Each beast in the vision has a story of victory and defeat. The lion with eagle’s wings depicts the nation of Babylon with its power torn from beneath it. The bear on its side represents the superiority of the Persian with their various conquests over Lydia, Babylon and Egypt. The leopard signifies the speedy conquests of Alexander the Great. The fourth terrifying beast is the great Roman Empire with its irresistible and surpassing power.

The language is rich in detail and graphics. One can easily imagine this entire scene taking place as if in a movie. One can almost become lost and overwhelmed by the imagery presented to us in the book. The visions are full of hope, awe and wonder at the ultimate victory that God has over His chosen people. Written at the time of Jewish persecution, it would have given a new heart to those who read it.

There are times in our lives when we need vision; without a vision people perish. It is a way of looking beyond, seeing that there is a way out of the present trials and hardships that one is facing. It is not an escape from reality but a looking into the future. It tells us that all will be well because God is in control. Let us be encouraged by the vision of Daniel that we can look beyond the dark night of death into the glorious light of the resurrection. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
What is your vision?
Lord, give me a vision for my life that I may see Your guiding light. Amen.
St. Jucunda, pray for us.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The first reading is a well-known story for most of us. Daniel is thrown into the den of the lions out of disobedience to the decrees of the king.

The king has great admiration for Daniel for his exceptional administrative qualities. In fact, the king plans to have him rule over the kingdom. Out of jealousy, his fellow administrators seek to make charges against him. Daniel is the faithful Jew. He prays three times a day as is the custom of the Jews. He prays facing Jerusalem in his land of exile. While at prayer, his conspirators rush to the king to demand his life. He has disobeyed the absolute and irrevocable decree of the king that no one is to address a plea except to the king. The king is disturbed. He considers Daniel as one of his chief of staff. Because of his decree and its irrevocable status, it must be obeyed. Daniel, the disobedient, must be punished for his crime against the king. In a remarkable act of God, Daniel is saved from the lions. God in His goodness kept the lions at distance from Daniel the whole evening. It was another act of the sovereign God. With this miracle, the king issues a new decree — the God of Daniel is to be revered and feared. In a beautiful testimony, the king converts the whole nation to the Deliverer and Savior, the God of Daniel, the Lord God of Israel.

The story reveals the just rewards of the ones who place their faith in God. “Nothing will ever separate us from the love of God,” proclaims St. Paul. He who remains faithful to the end, enduring all trials and difficulties, will always see the victory of God. This is the story of Jesus. Right to the very end of His life, He placed His faith in the Lord, the only one who could save him. The story of Daniel is a fine example for us all. In the face of trying circumstances, are we willing to trust in the Lord? Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
What are the pressing issues surrounding your life? Will you stand up for the truth?
Lord, You are my Deliverer and Savior. Save me from those who persecute me. Amen.
St. Colman of Cloyne, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



One of the main themes that we see throughout the Book of Daniel isthat of God’s sovereignty. This is the theme of the story of the first reading today.

The king is having an elaborate party with his friends. The party has many guests, officials of the kingdom. It was a party for the richest and finest of the kingdom. While under the influence of alcohol, they revel in sacrilegious ritual. The temple’s finery of vessels are handed over to the people. As they begin to drink from the costly vessels stolen from the temple in Jerusalem, they notice a strange sight. The fingers of a hand appear, writing on the wall for everyone to see. This sight shakes the king. He does not understand the writing, but he has some kind of feeling that it is not good. He calls upon his sages to interpret the writing. None of them could interpret it.

Daniel, the wise interpreter of the king, comes into his presence and begins to decipher the writing on the wall. It reveals measures of weight and monies. The king is weighed against the standards of God and is seen as abominable in the sight of God. God appears in the form of a hand to bring down the judgment to the king. God is the righteous King and would have no one underestimate His authority and power. Jesus states in the Gospel that by the finger of God, Satan is cast out. Evil has no place in the Kingdom of God. God will not tolerate absurd and idolatrous worship.

We must be very careful with the way we act. God will not tolerate behavior that is opposed to His commandments. All of us are to give an account of what we have done in service to the Lord and in keeping His commandments. We must respect things that are of God. We need to develop a reverence for the holy. Jesus is present in every tabernacle and awaits our adoration. At Mass, we must prepare well for what we are to receive in communion. In our daily lives, we must treat one another with utmost respect and dignity for the Sacred Presence is within him. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Let us examine our conscience again this day and seek to reverence the Lord who is among us.
God, all powerful Father, we adore You and reverence Your presence in our lives. Amen.
St. Columban, pray for us.

What you must learn --- NOW --- about the Devil

Do you still believe in the devil?
Painting of Hell

If he's as mighty, malicious, and intent on our destruction as our Faith teaches, then nothing is more foolhardy than for us to think he doesn't exist.
Still, is there really strong evidence that he exists?
Consider your own temptations: they're annoying and embarrassing, but largely unremarkable and even boring.
But diabolical?
On the contrary, you and I do generally try to be decent folks, as do most the folks we know.
When we consider the many good folks around us, it's easy to dismiss the devil as the product of a fevered medieval imagination.
But then what about the Holocaust? Or the machete massacre of thousands in Rwanda? The murder of 3,000 innocents on 9/11? Fifty million babies slaughtered in our country by abortionists who know exactly what they are doing?
Do horrors on that scale come forth from the hearts of decent folks striving to be good?
Or is there Something More?
A malicious Something Morepresiding with glee over evils vast in scope and horrible in their consequences.
Painting of pandemonium

Faced with such evils, why do we find it hard to believe in the devil?
Fr. Gerald Vann thinks it's because we've got a wildly improbable caricature of the devil stuck in our minds, with horns and tail and smile that even small children can't take seriously.

Image of the devil
Regardless of how it came about, it's Satan's great triumph: sometimes even good Catholics doubt his existence.
Yet he's real.
And bent on your damnation.
Are you prepared to resist his efforts to gain power over your soul?
Good generals spend long hours studying their enemies, to learn their habitual ways of attack, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how others have stymied or even defeated them.
Like a good general, Fr. Gerald Vann, O.P., spent long years studying the devil, with particular attention to that time in the New Testament when the devil tarried so long that his methods were revealed, his strengths, and his weaknesses.

The Devil and How to Resist Him (book cover)
The Devil and How to Resist Himis the fruit of that long study. It's the handbook you need today if you are going to fend off the Devil's attack tomorrow.
Until you have it, you're vulnerable . . . especially to the dangerously subtle methods he uses against people like you, who rarely really doubt his existence, and are generally on guard. From Fr. Vann, you'll learn:
• Why it's foolhardy to deny the Devil's existence or to downplay his power to tempt you
• How he uses your resistance to temptation to make his temptations more effective
• How Christ reveals His love for you in permitting you to be tempted
• How Christ's loneliness in the desert can comfort you
• How His responses to Satan show you how to respond to the temptations Satan places before you
• Why absence of temptation can be more dangerous to your soul than temptation itself
• How to tell which temptations you must resist — and which to simply flee
• Plus: Much more to help you defeat the Devil

"The Devil and How to Resist Him is a very timely reminder for those who still don't take the Devil seriously."
Rev. Benedict Groeschel
"An outstanding book that deals with the presence of evil and evil spirits and the superior force of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual warfare of our time."
Rev. Michael Scanlan

The Devil and How to Resist Him
by Gerald Vann
174 pgs ppbk $18.95

Order online above,or call

Sophia Institute Press
Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108 USA

We always welcome contributions to our non-profit apostolate. If you would prefer not to use the PayPal button below, you can add a contribution directly to your shopping cart at our on-line store.

Click to donate through paypal or donate directly through our website: www.

Sophia Institute Press
is the publishing division of

The publishing division of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and of Holy Spirit College.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011



A city can be quite dazzling to a newcomer. Lights, towering buildings and huge malls catch the eyes of a new person hitting a city for the first time. One can imagine how awestruck the disciples were as they wandered around the Temple of Herod. Herod’s Temple was known for its extravagance in beauty, architecture and adornments. It was one of Herod’s main projects. Jesus turns their attention to the fact that the beauty they see will one day be no more. As a prophet, He is speaking of the destruction of the temple and the city itself, Jerusalem. Forty years after His death this was fulfilled. The destruction of the temple and city was a great blow to the people of Israel.

Jesus connects the prophecy of the destruction of the temple with the end of the world. The things that will happen to Jerusalem will be the prelude to the end of the world. The world as we know it will be destroyed. Some people think the end of the world is near, judging by the catastrophes that are happening nowadays, one after the other. Luke gives his version of the eschatological discourse. It will be a dramatic sight for all. All will know the end is nigh, but Jesus reminds His followers to not be afraid, to trust in Him.

I once heard of a nervous lector who, at the end of the first reading, stated triumphantly, “Brothers and sisters, this is the end of the world!” Everyone was aghast as they realized she meant, “Brothers and sisters, this is the Word of the Lord!”

The language that we hear of the end times is weird indeed. It is hard to put our heads around it because it seems so other-worldly. Earthquakes and famine will occur, terror and signs in the sky will be appearing, but there is no cause for alarm. Many will say, “I am he,” referring to the anti-Christ. Many will say the time is at hand, but even Jesus mentioned He did not know the hour or day. The important thing is to be watchful and ready for the coming of the end of the worldFr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
How will you spend your last day on earth?
Lord, prepare my heart for the coming of Your Son. Amen.
Sts. Mark & Stephen, pray for us.

Monday, November 21, 2011



The Gospel of Luke has a number of titles associated with it. One of the many titles is the Gospel of the Poor. Luke has a preferential option for the poor. Today, Jesus observes the widow, who represents the poor of Israel.

The setting is that of the women’s court in the temple. Within the temple, there are trumpet-like receptacles for people to drop their donations. Jesus watches as the people enter the temple and the sight of a widow catches His attention. The widow pays her respects to the Presence of God in the Temple. Jesus notices that many of the rich make their offerings. However, this widow gives her all — every penny she had to live on!

The coins that the widow puts in are perhaps equivalent to five centavos in the Philippines — the smallest currency used nowadays. The copper coins of the widow were the smallest in circulation at the time of Jesus. Most striking, according to Jesus, is the fact that the widow puts in two coins. She could have kept one coin for herself. Instead, the whole of her livelihood is spent for the Lord. The others contributed out of their surplus. They had other resources that they could rely upon — but not the poor widow. Her act surely touched the heart of Jesus.

Often we act like the rich. We are willing to give our all to God, but keep the little that we have — just in case. Do we really trust in the Lord? He will surely provide. This was the faith of the widow. She trusted in her God that He would provide. Who knows how she lived that day? Perhaps some good and kind person had pity upon her.

Today, the Church celebrates the Presentation of Mary in the temple. Tradition tells us that Mary, at a young age, presented herself to the Lord. This prophetic act would find its fulfillment in her submission to God — on becoming the mother of Jesus.

Let us imitate Mary’s faith and that of the widow in the Gospel. Both women placed their lives in the hands of God’s providential care.  Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
What return will I make for the Lord?
Lord, You have given all to me. Now I return it to You. Amen.
St. Digain, pray for us.

Sunday, November 20, 2011



The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time is always the celebration of Christ the King. It was formerly on the last Sunday of October. After Vatican II, it was transferred to the Last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Pope Pius XI instituted this feast on December 11, 1925 to combat the rising secularism and atheistic communism so rampant at that time. He established this feast so that people might again turn to their King and their Lord — Jesus Christ.

In the first reading, we hear of the call of the shepherd King who separates people as sheep and goats. The mixed flocks of sheep and goats were a common sight in Palestine. At night, the goats were inside since they preferred the warmth, whereas the sheep preferred the open air. Admired by their shepherds, the sheep are given preferential treatment, hence the Gospel of the sheep and goats.

In this Gospel, we read about the sin of omission. At the Last Judgment, we will not only be judged by our actions, good or evil. We will also be judged on our failure to do good when the need arises in our lives. Mother Teresa of Calcutta would teach her sisters the “Gospel on five fingers,” as she would count on the fingers of her hand the words of Matthew 25:40, “You did it to me.” Did we see and help the Christ among us or did we reject them? How often in a day do we reject or accept Christ among us?

Once, Jesus said to the disciples as the woman washed His feet, you will always have the poor among you. Every day we have an opportunity to visit the sick, visit the lonely prisoners, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty and clothe the naked. Christ is on our doorstep every day. Are we able to recognize Him? Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Reflect on the words “you did it to me.”
Lord, help me clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the sick, visit the lonely and satisfy the thirsty. Amen.
St. Edmund Rich, pray for us.

Saturday, November 19, 2011



I once heard a joke: The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection so they are “sad, you see” (Sadd...u... cees). Get it?

The Sadducees were a dominant religious group that originated during the times of the Maccabees dynasty. Their name meant “righteous ones.” They were the society’s aristocrats, rich descendants of high priests. In their many belief systems, they denied the concept of life after death and the resurrection of the body.

The Sadducees opposed Jesus because He accepted more than the teachings of the Torah, the authoritative tool for the Sadducees. They also opposed Jesus out of fear of losing their powerful wealth and influence with the ruling power of the day, the Romans.

They came to pose their problem to Jesus, hoping to ridicule His belief in the resurrection. They began by citing the Law of Moses, the chief authority on such matters of life and religion. Jesus was intelligent in His reply as He stated the obvious: there is no marriage in heaven. Marriage is an earthly reality, instituted by God for man and woman on earth. They are no longer united in heaven as if married, but all become sons and daughters of God in the Kingdom. He was able to turn the issue on their head by citing Moses. The famous burning bush account clearly suggested that God is the Lord of the living.

All are alive in God. Jesus has given us access to the Father of life. It is the will of the Father that none be lost. While we live on earth, there are certain realities and states of life that are good and holy in living out God’s will. Our time on earth is short so we are to make the most of it.

There is a resurrection of the dead. There is life eternal and there is life after death. Eternal life awaits those who have put their trust in the Lord.  Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
What are you waiting for?
I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come. Amen. (Profession of Faith)
St. Crispin, pray for us.

Friday, November 18, 2011



A little more than a week ago, we celebrated the dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica. Today we celebrate the memorial of two basilicas in Rome — Sts. Peter and Paul. Both basilicas share the same date though one is slightly older than the other. The Basilica of St. Peter is on top of the tomb of St. Peter. He was crucified upside down during the great persecution in Rome under Emperor Nero, 64 A.D. The Basilica of St. Paul is on Via Ostia, outside the ancient city walls of Rome. Paul was beheaded with a sword, as the legend goes; his head bounced three times, hence the Tre Fontan (Three Fountains).

The story narrated by Matthew is a delightful story of placing our trust in the Lord. The Apostles, caught in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, are struggling. Interestingly, the waters are the places whereby evil reign. It is no wonder that in their fright, the Apostles scream that the one walking on the water is a ghost. Immediately, Jesus calms their fears by calling out to them.

As Peter begins to walk on the water, I guess the greatest mistake he made was to look down. The moment he perceived the wind, he  became frightened and began to sink. From this account, we notice that the Lord is always willing to save. We just need to call upon His name and we shall be saved. Jesus always encourages us: Do not be afraid!

Perhaps we are to take the risk, similar to Peter, to step out of the boat. The boat represents that comfort zone where we would rather stay because it is a shelter from the storm. In fact, Peter is the bravest of all the Apostles — perhaps the most stupid also! Yes, he takes the step of faith. He believes in Jesus. He is ready to follow the call of the Lord.

Certainly, in our lives, the winds may become fierce and the storm so destructive, but the Lord is always ready to hasten to our aid. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Is Jesus calling you to step out of the boat?
Faithful and kind God, I place my faith in You. Do not abandon me when I call upon Your name. Amen.
St. Odo, pray for us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's Gospel - November 17, 2011 with Reflection

Jesus was filled with compassion for the people of Jerusalem. He could foresee that they would suffer terrible trials under the Romans. He desired to bring them into the Father’s Kingdom, but they and their leaders rejected Him. And so they would reap the consequences of their hardness of heart. This is a sober warning not to take for granted the grace of God when it is offered to us, as our refusal will always have dire consequences.
R: Alleluia, alleluia
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
R: Alleluia, alleluia
Luke 19:41-44
41 As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. 44 They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
my reflections
t h i n k : Let us not take for granted the grace of God when it is offered to us, as our refusal always will have dire consequences.


In the Gospel, there are only two instances when we see Jesus weeping. First, when he approaches Jerusalem, and secondly, upon hearing the news of the death of Lazarus. The evangelists often state the human emotions of Jesus. He thought with a human mind, worked with human hands and truly loved with a human heart. Jesus weeps here at the closed heart of the people. God is right there in the midst to visit His people and He goes unnoticed. As prophet, He foretells the upcoming destruction of Jerusalem, which saw its fulfilment in 70 A.D.

For Luke, the whole Gospel has been the journey towards Jerusalem. Now, as Jesus catches the sight of the city, which He loves and has travelled many times before, His heart breaks. His face has been set like flint. He is very aware of His plight. Many prophets have gone before Him to the city and have died for the cause of right. He seems like one of the many — and yet He is determined to set foot once again. Jesus weeps at their non-acceptance of the Savior and the future destruction of the city.

What a shame to miss the opportunity. Jesus’ heart is shattered at the loss they will experience. He has done all He could. He taught and worked among His own. St. John states in his prologue, “His own did not accept Him.” His heart wrenched as He experienced the despair and faithless people whom He loved. Only a few days from now, Jesus would die from a broken heart on the Cross.

The contrast of this visitation is amazing as we reflect on the visitation of Mary to her relative, Elizabeth. One is characterized by joy; another by sadness. One is gladly accepted; the other is utterly rejected. The Spirit-filled Elizabeth proclaimed the mighty deeds of God. The influence of evil, like a dark cloud hanging over the city, overshadows the visit to Jerusalem. Jesus sets His heart on the will of the Father; we can imagine His anguish in the garden that night at Gethsemane. Let us accept the Lord as He visits His people. Let us be willing to take up every opportunity as He comes to save, heal and deliver. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
Reflection Question:
Jesus desires to visit you. Will you welcome His visitation?
Emmanuel, God with us, come and set Your people free. Amen.
St. Hilda, pray for us.