Hound of Heaven – Br. John Braught

Br. John Braught

Luke 13:1-9, 31-35

In today’s Gospel, Jesus responds to a threat from Herod, “You tell that fox I have work to do.”

So, if Herod is the fox, who is Jesus? Jesus, in the words of the poet Francis Thompson, Jesus is the Hound of Heaven. And just as the hound picks up the scent of its prey, relentlessly pursuing, unhurried and unperturbed, ever drawing nearer in the chase; so Jesus has our scent. Jesus is on to us. Ever in pursuit, chasing, gaining, nipping at the heals, seeking always to catch us, envelop us, ravish us, and devour us with His Divine Love. Nothing, nothing whatsoever, writes Saint Paul, can separate us from this love. Neither hardship nor distress, neither height nor depth, nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God. Though we, we at times may try to flee, we may try to flee from Divine Love. And we each have our reasons for that. What’s yours? What makes you flee from Divine Love?

Whatever your reason, Jesus is relentless. The Hound of Heaven won’t stop until you are caught. How does that happen? How do we get caught by Divine Love? It’s been true in my life, and maybe you’ve had the experience too, the Hound of Heaven catches up to us when we stumble; the Hound of Heaven catches us when we fall; when some obstacle gets in the way; or we simply give up through sheer exhaustion. When that happens, Divine Love is there to pick us up, to protect us, to give us strength to meet the day’s challenges, and even carries us, if need be. (Though if you are anything like me though once you are on your feet again you run off in the other direction) Well, that won’t stop the Hound of Heaven. The Hound of Heaven is always there, always in pursuit, patiently and persistently waiting for that moment of weakness, for even the slightest cry for help. At that moment, the Hound of Heaven catches us, envelops us, ravishes us, and devours us with His love. The question is, why wait to get caught?

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  1. Anna Olson on September 18, 2016 at 23:08

    I love my daily word from SSJE, and found this one disturbing, and not in a good way. I was shocked a tough time with the uncritically positive use of “pursue” and “ravish”. I’m not sure you thought through how that might read for women or those who have experienced unwanted sexual aggression…

    • Leslie on April 27, 2017 at 04:46

      I pray that the wounds of everyone who has been assaulted will be healed and redeemed.

  2. Elizabeth Hardy on September 18, 2016 at 08:47

    You piqued my imagination this morning – and it will definitely be better than what I’m going to hear at mass. Thanx.

  3. Margo on November 7, 2013 at 10:55

    Dear Br. John, I don’t think one has to wait to be caught just relax into a firm grip. Very nicely done. Thank you for this. Margo

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