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Wednesday of Lent 4

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” — Matthew 8:20

The foxes have dens, where they may rest in safety. The birds have nests; most of them resorting to the same tree night after night

for shelter. Animals in this way reflect humans. We want to have a permanent structure, for protection and warmth. This is part of our daily bread. For without shelter, who would survive the bitter cold of winter? Without a house, how much more difficult would it be to raise a family?

The Son of Man, Jesus, in His state of humiliation, does not have a home. He is burdened with poverty and homelessness. This homelessness plagued Christ throughout His life and even beyond it. He was driven from Bethlehem. He was almost murdered by His fellow Nazarenes. Christ is even buried in a borrowed grave. That is the level to which our Lord deigns to stoop. He, the Maker of all, goes without so that we might become rich.

Here, Jesus reminds the scribe and us the cost of discipleship. The scribe boldly confessed that he will go wherever Jesus will go. Jesus soberly told the man that, just as the Master is hated by the devil and the world, so too are His servants. Under certain circumstances poverty, privations, persecutions may, by God’s permission, be the lot of Christians.

Christians may, on account of their confession of Christ, be obliged to give up their daily bread. They may even have to give up their lives. But a crown of unfading glory awaits those who are faithful unto death. If we suffer here with Christ, we shall also be glorified with Him.

Lord Jesus, the animals have dens and the birds have nests, but You had nowhere to lay Your head. You suffered homelessness here, so that You might prepare a place for us there in the Father’s mansions. We thank and praise You for our home, for our warm hearth. We ask You, Lord Jesus, to defend this habitation from all harm. If, by Your gracious will, we lose this home through persecution or disaster, we ask that You would give us a new home wherein to dwell. Amen.

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