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A hen as a stronghold???

Today's readings are powerful and interesting. Psalm 27 portrays the God of light, salvation, a stronghold who delivers us from trouble. The gospel shows Jesus' missional orientation. He will not depart from his calling in spite of the threats of Herod. So far, so good.

Jesus as a mother hen? We don't consider hens that strong or powerful, certainly unlike the imagery of Psalm 27. As a hen gathers her young chicks to protect them from danger, she leaves herself most vulnerable, exposing her breast. She gives her own life for the chicks. Even so, Jesus, arms open wide in love upon the cross gave himself for us. The Jerusalem chicks were rebellious, refused to be gathered. What about us? We are offered protection and shelter, salvation. Willful rebellion brings on a desolate house, void of God's presence. Rather, let us be gathered together and declare, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord."

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