30th Week in Ord. Time, Thursday – 29th October 2020 — Gospel: Lk 13,31-35
Inexorable Divine Will
As Jesus continues on his way to Jerusalem, he knows that he would face certain death. The Pharisees approach Jesus, warn him about Herod, and urge him to move away. Only here do we find the motive of the Pharisees is not deceiving. But Jesus states his determination to finish his work in Jerusalem with a triad “today, tomorrow, and third/next day” in verses 32 and 33. The first triad indicates the passive presence of the divine in Jesus’ works in order to “finish” on the third day. The things that need to be finished are Jesus’ day-by-day works of God’s kingdom: healing and exorcisms. Jesus turns to compare that Herod is just a clever little fox and God is in charge. In verse 33, Jesus picks up the second triad of days and takes them to the ultimate destination: Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city that kills its prophets and stones its messengers. Jesus views it more urgent to go to Jerusalem because of God’s will than to heed warnings about Herod. Jesus is aware that this is the place where he too must suffer and die. The emphasis here is not simply to repeat triads about days, or threats from local rulers like Herod, but to manifest an inexorable divine will. For it is God’s concern that impels Jesus to the journey’s end in Jerusalem, where he will fulfill a prophet’s destiny saying, “It is finished”.