The Gospel is Jesus’ second prediction of his passion. He declares, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” The passive form is understood in the theological sense. It is a divine passive. Thus God’s action is referred to in an indirect way, typical of Hebrew reverence to God. The connotation is that Jesus is being handed over according to God’s plan. God is always in control. The Jewish authorities and the Romans play a part in the passion and death of Jesus and seem to be in control, but they are not in absolute control; only God is. They only act according to their nature—blindly and cruelly—which God respects. God will never violate man’s freedom to choose good or evil.
John has, likewise, the same perspective. Jesus is in control even when he appears helpless. Jesus declares, “This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again” (10:17-18).
First Reading • Eccl 11:9—12:8
Rejoice, O young man, while you are young and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart, the vision of your eyes; yet understand that as regards all this God will bring you to judgment. Ward off grief from your heart and put away trouble from your presence, though the dawn of youth is fleeting.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years approach of which you will say, I have no pleasure in them; before the sun is darkened, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, while the clouds return after the rain; when the guardians of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders are idle because they are few, and they who look through the windows grow blind; when the doors to the street are shut, and the sound of the mill is low; when one waits for the chirp of a bird, but all the daughters of song are suppressed; and one fears heights, and perils in the street; when the almond tree blooms, and the locust grows sluggish and the caper berry is without effect, because man goes to his lasting home, and mourners go about the streets; before the silver cord is snapped and the golden bowl is broken, and the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the broken pulley falls into the well, and the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it.
Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, all things are vanity!
Gospel • LUKE 9:43b-45
While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.