Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, 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, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”Luke 13:31-35 (Lectionary)
The Wings of the Lord
In the mystery of divine providence, many in Israel do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Yet he must press onward to the holy city to fulfill God’s will, enduring the rejection of a prophet. Identifying with Jerusalem, the mother of Israel, Jesus calls her children his beloved. Until the end of time, they are his brethren; the wings of the Lord are ever outstretched, seeking to gather them in. “For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable,” Paul asserts of the Jews (Romans 11:29). The benediction hailed at Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Psalm 118:26), will be consummated at his second coming.
Yerushalaim, Christ yearns for you,
As a hen longs to gather her brood.