25th Week in Ordinary Time: Friday 27th September 2019

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St Vincent de Paul, priest

25th Week in Ordinary Time: Friday 27th September 2019

Hag. 1:15 - 2:9; Ps. 43(42):1,2,3,4; Lk. 9:18-22 (Ps Wk I)

The prophet Haggai foretold that the glory of the second temple would be greater than that of Solomon’s. Although poor and unimposing by comparison, it would be honoured by the presence of the Messiah. At the time of Jesus, this temple was being restored on a grand scale by Kind Herod to win the favour of the Jews.

The Gospel passage tells us that when the Messiah did come, few recognized Him. Stranger still, when Peter in the name of all the apostles declared Jesus to be the Christ, “He gave them strict orders not to say this to anyone.” (Lk. 9:21). To proclaim Jesus openly as the Messiah would have been a political issue for most of the people and for the Romans. Bloody riots had been caused by false messiahs at this time.

However, the greatest obstacle to the preaching of Jesus did not come from the false expectations of the people for a “conquering Messiah” but from “the elders and chief priests and scribes” who rejected Jesus and plotted His death. They say in “the carpenter of Nazareth” a threat to their power and influence and wealth. Throughout the centuries and in many countries, we find sad and tragic examples of religion being abused by religious  leaders for personal gain.

Merciful Jesus, deliver us from ministers of religion who destroy religion by their pride and avarice.