Thursday of the 30th Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Romans 8:31-39 + Luke 13:31-35
October 31, 2019
If God is for us, who can be against us?
The words of Saint Paul at the beginning of today’s First Reading are as simple as they are profound. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” In the verses that follow, St. Paul reminds us of the length to which God’s love for sinful man took Him. St. Paul continues to ask rhetorical questions, exploring God’s love for us from a somewhat different perspective each time. “Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?” “Who will condemn?” “What will separate us from the love of Christ?”
St. Paul concludes his scriptural rhetoric with a tour de force statement of faith: “neither death, not life, nor angels, nor principalities, not present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God”. St. Paul does not mention, of course, that there is one thing that can indeed separate one from the love of God, and that is one’s one will. But in light of this, we see our task as disciples to submit our sinful will to God’s Hand.
In today’s Gospel Reading Jesus takes to task those in Jerusalem’s past who chose to work against God’s love by killing the prophets. He sees them as foreshadowing His own death. Yet when Pharisees try to get rid of Jesus by telling him that Herod is threatening His life, Jesus explains in terms of His own earthly vocation what St. Paul proclaimed in lofty terms in today’s First Reading: “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”. Not even Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary can separate us from God’s love. In fact, Jesus’ crucifixion is the door to God’s love for us.