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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

October 17, 2019

Thursday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time


Romans 3:21-30

Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6ab

Luke 11:47-54


Gospel Reading


Jesus said: "Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,' so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering." When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.


Reflection


Silence Our Prophets or Listen to Them?


Shortsightedness of individuals and institutions has caused grave setbacks in the human history. It was the shortsightedness of our forefathers that made them believe that earth is flat. It was the sheer ignorance and arrogance of some religious authorities that made them to oppress, suppress and even punish scientists like Galileo. Now we try to distance ourselves from those wrongdoers and pretend that at present we are scientific and faultless. It is this hypocritical attitude and self-assurance that Jesus challenges through today’s Gospel. Jesus confronted those who proclaimed that they are better than their forefathers saying, “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building.” Jesus wants to make us aware that in each and every one of us our forefathers are alive. We are the offspring of our past generations and have inherited all their good and bad qualities. We are enjoying the benefits and consequences of their words and deeds. Disowning our past or pretending ignorance of what has happened in the past is not going to salvage us from their ramifications. It is in this context, St Paul consoles us. In his letter to the Ephesians he tells us, “In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.” In simple words, what has happened and what is happening and what will happen are not unknown to God. We cannot undo the past and its ramifications. We cannot compensate or remunerate the dead prophets through erecting their tomb stones. It is not of any benefit to anybody.


Then what else can we do? We should learn lessons from our past. It is in this context Jesus accuses the teachers, “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” It is meaningless trying to undo the past or cover-up the wrongdoings. Learn from the past mistakes and try to avoid repeating them again and again. Those prophets who died at the hands of our forefathers are already dead and gone. We cannot raise them up. What we can do is this: stop killing the living prophets. Humanity is often over-conscious of the past mistakes and the future threats. Meanwhile we fail to live our present as it should be lived. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is the key to avoid past mistakes. It is the grave responsibility of the teachers to unlock the archives of hidden wisdom. Until we learn from the past we will keep on repeating the same mistakes that our forefathers have committed. St Paul invites us to progress towards our full potential. God our Father has a plan, to sum up all things in Christ, both visible and invisible, in heaven and on earth. Unfortunately, the scribes and Pharisees did not learn anything from the past. We read in today’s Gospel, when Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.” They repeated the same mistakes their forefathers have committed. Now it is our turn – we should decide whether to silence our prophets or listen to them and enter through the door of wisdom they open before us.


Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.