Gospel Reflection for the 33rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – November 17th 2013
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
To all our dear friends in the Philippines and their families and to our parishioners here in Gardiner Street who have family members affected by the typhoon and its after effects, please be assured of our prayers and support at this difficult time.
When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now-the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed’. And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’
‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand”. Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
‘But before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.
Anyone on a farm with a bad year hopes next year will be better. Same in business or a shop. Or that Christmas will go well. That the figs will bloom again – the only tree in the area that lost its leaves, and so had a bad name. Jesus even condemns it and is persuaded not to let it go. The gospel is a message of hope.
From Where is Hope
Where do we get our hope? We don’t need any signs of hope – Jesus is the sign in his death and resurrection.
One big sign of hope is Jesus alive in the Eucharist. He is saying that to a people steeped in the unusual – I am the one to look to. Pope Francis – ‘For a Christian Jesus is hope in person and he has the power to free and recreate every life.’
Sign of Christ
And the other signs – what are they now? Not signs in the sun and the moon etc — signs like the daily ongoing love of parents, children; the work in neighbourhoods for justice and the work for peace throughout the world; the loving smile of the child or grandchild; the person who let me out of the side road in the traffic; the cheerful acceptance of illness and their care of nurses and staff…you could add them.
Ask – What was a sign of Jesus Christ for you last week? and
How will you be a sign of Christ this coming week?
Lord Jesus, may your kingdom come!
Donal Neary SJ