Gospel Reading: Lk 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain – and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot – and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
HOW TO INTERPRET THE PRESENT TIME
The overall context presents to us the ministry of Jesus that requires choices leading even to the division of families. Why do people fail to discern his message when they are able to read the weather? Why do they not assess rightly his miraculous work or his word or his message of deliverance? Word and deed are ignored. In calling them “hypocrites,” Jesus is trying to shock them into reflection, as if to say, “How can you miss all that is going on around you in my ministry?” Their poor judgment coupled with their hardened hearts leave them at great risk.
Jesus’ ministry burns consciences, and our reaction to him determines the nature of his judgment.
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