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Bible reflection: 'Do you know how to interpret these times'

Michele Frankeni  |  17 October 2019

Each week we consider a reading from the weekday masses. In this week's Bible reflection we unpack Jesus' exhortation to 'judge for yourselves what is right'.

Gospel reading for Friday, 25 October 2019
Luke 12:54-59
Do you not know how to interpret these times?

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?

‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’


  • In what spirit do you ask questions? Is there genuine inquiry or are they asked to trap or tease?
  • The Gospel is specific about trying to settle differences before they get to court. Think of other scenarios where good communication could avoid unpleasant situations.
  • What is ‘good’ communication?

Reflection from

Romans 7:18-25. Psalm 118(119):66, 68, 76-77, 93-94. Luke 12:54-59.
Teach me your laws, O Lord – Psalm 118(119):66, 68, 76-77, 93-94
‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right?’
Throughout his public life, Jesus was followed by people asking questions. Sometimes these were asked in all sincerity, but often they were designed to entrap him. One day, in exasperation, he asked, ‘Why do you not know how to interpret the present time?’ These people had come not seeking the truth or to hear what he had to say or to understand who he was, but to fill their own agendas, wanting to trip him up.

It can be difficult to set aside our own personal agendas and to sit quietly and listen to what Jesus might be trying to say to us. Today, let us turn to Jesus with all our searching and wondering. Lord of my heart, be for me the end of all my desiring. Help me to attend to this time with your eyes, always guided by your Spirit of grace and peace.


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