The Lord said:
“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.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might 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 died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
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.”
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.
I will be flying to Rome this afternoon to visit two of our seminarians who are studying there. Please pray for safe travels. Be assured of my prayers for you at all of the holy sites in Rome. I will try to write these thoughts for the day while I am gone, but I can’t guarantee that I will have the time or internet access.
Reading this Gospel today reminds me of what is happening here in our country as we try to push God and Jesus Christ out of everything.
Jesus was reminding the Jewish leaders that some of their ancestors killed the prophets that God sent among them. And now they were going to reject the Prophet of all Prophets – the Son of God Himself! He accuses the “scholars of the law” of taking the “key” away for others to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus obviously is the “key”.
What is happening here in the United States, a country founded on our Christian beliefs? We are taking Jesus out of everything for the sake of being inclusive. Or some see Christians as a threat to their agenda. In actuality we are excluding the “key” of salvation.
Now, I understand the separation of Church and state. But as we are finishing our government shutdown, we need God and godly values more than ever! Our unborn children need protection. Marriage needs to be protected. The dignity of every human person needs to be protected.
What can we do?
I encourage you to pray as a family when you go to a restaurant. Last weekend I was eating at a Wendy’s restaurant and I saw a couple make the sign of the cross, bow their heads and pray. As I was leaving, I thanked them for praying in public and not being ashamed. They responded by saying, “No, Father, we are not afraid to pray in public. We are very Catholic and proud of it!” We need more people like them to take a stand for Jesus.
Don’t be afraid to speak the truth. This may mean going on the March for Life in Washington. Pray for the protection of life in all forms.
We may undergo persecution for our beliefs. We may be called names. That is okay. Consider the price Jesus paid for speaking the truth… May we not be ashamed of Jesus, the Son of God. May we share His name as the “key” to all joy, life and happiness.
Have a blessed day!