The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 28th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 11:47-54.

Christ continues His condemnation of the hostile Pharisees and lawyers with a series of “woes”; “Woes” are a declaration of doom, curses that warn the unrepentant of God’s coming judgment.

Christ rebukes the Pharisees for hypocrisy and pride because they falsely honored the prophets, claiming  they would not have killed the prophets as their fathers had; Christ (the Divine Prophet) condemns their lies, knowing that the Pharisees will successfully carry out their schemes to kill Him.  Ominously, Christ warns that the current generation will bear the bloodguilt of all the murdered prophets; as the Son of God, His murder at their hands will confirm their guilt and Christ confirms that justice “shall be required of this generation”;  within a generation, Christ’s prophecy will be fulfilled as hundreds of thousands of Jews are killed and Jerusalem is demolished by the Romans in A.D. 70.

Christ again (v. 45) condemns the lawyers, this time of taking away the “key to knowledge”; Christ exposes the lawyers’ manipulative practice of keeping Scriptures locked up, restricting access to keep control of what men were allowed to hear. Now exposed, the Pharisees and lawyers begin to relentlessly attack Christ, seeking to build evidence against Him; ironically, this validates Christ’s revelation of their evil.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has perfect knowledge of the inner evil motives of the Pharisees and lawyers and their future evil acts. Divine Prophet and Judge, Christ condemns their evil intentions and foresees the burden the generation will bear for His murder.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ knows the Pharisees are scheming to murder Him. Reflect on Christ’s impressive courage, that despite the powerful Pharisees’ plans, He harshly condemns them publicly, in the home of a Pharisee (Luke 11:37).

2) Christ condemns the Pharisees for failing to pass along the truth to the people; sadly, vast numbers of Catholics today do not know the faith. Renew your personal commitment to Catechesis (CCC 4-9, 426, 983, 1095, 2688), relying on the Truth that resides in the Magisterium (CCC 84-100), and ask Christ to help you grow in knowledge of the faith and to teach others.

3) Unlike Christ, many Catholics are afraid to loudly condemn the sins being promoted in the increasingly perverted society and to defend the truth of the Catholic faith. Renew your understanding of your obligation to Defend the Faith (CCC 1285, 1303) and pray for Christ to strengthen you to avoid the cowardliness of political correctness and to be able to effectively proclaim His Truth.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently