Thursday, October 31, 2013


I was reflecting on today's readings. Today's Gospel reading, in particular is from Luke 13:31-55:
Some Pharisees came to Jesus 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.”
I find Jesus' choice of animals interesting. Usually you hear about sheep and wolves, but no less at odds are foxes and hens. There is a saying, "the fox is guarding the hen house" referring to someone in power abusing and exploiting it to the detriment of those they are supposedly protecting. I don't know if the origins of the phrase go back to this passage or not, but the analogy is sound.

And so it was with Herod. Herod was an Edomite, which meant that although he practiced Jewish customs he was not considered a Jew by the Judeans. So, like the fox, he was an outsider who didn't belong in his position, but had been placed over the Jews by their Roman oppressors. And just as the fox has no love of the hens (other than as dinner), so Herod had his own interests, contrary to the Jews he governed. Just as a fox will destroy the hen house and attack the hens, so Herod had gone against the people of Jerusalem.

I also like the way the liturgy refers to this passage. We do not start the Eucharistic prayers (where we see Jesus as truly present) until we say "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." How cool is that?


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Post a Comment