Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reflection: Luke 21:5-19

The 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 21:5-19

In today’s reading, Jesus was in the temple.  As He was sitting there, some of the people around Him were speaking of how the temple was adorned with precious stones and there were many people making votive offerings!  Jesus said: “The things you are contemplating: the day will come when not one stone of this temple will be left on another and all this will be torn down.”  Some of the people who heard Jesus make this statement questioned Jesus: Teacher, “When will this take place?  What signs should we look for?” Jesus cautioned his listeners to be discerning.  They should take care not to be misled by false prophets who would “come and preach in the name of Jesus.”  They also should be discerning about what they hear.  They should not be dismayed when there are prophecies and warnings of wars and insurrections.  These events will not necessarily mean that the “end time” it at hand.

Jesus then predicts: “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be horrific natural disasters; and you will be persecuted and perhaps be put to death because of my name and your faith in me.  This is what my followers will experience.  However, do not be afraid; I will give you the words to speak and the wisdom to give witness on my account.  Do not worry!  Hold fast to your belief in me and in my promise. I will not fail you.”

Take a few minutes and ask yourself: Do I truly believe Jesus words?  Do I trust in His promise, even though He says: “You will be delivered up even by your loved ones and you may be put to death!  Many will hate you because of your belief in me, yet not a hair of your head will be harmed.”   

I suspect that Jesus’ words may create some anxiety in us!  We do not like to hear about “the end times” or what may happen when we die.  Yet every day we create our future by the choices and the daily decisions we make. Today we can make choices that bring us life and spread love and acceptance in our world, or we can be indifferent and blind to the pain, hurt, and need around us.  
How will I choose to live my life today?   

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