Gospel Reflection for 33rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – November 13th 2016
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.
Victor Frankl discovered in the concentration camp that those who had something to live for endured – like a deep love for family and extended family, a commitment to religious life in love, a love of the country shown in public service.
All of us need something big enough to live for, large enough to die for, something to get up in the morning for, and keeps us up late at night – maybe our family, our faith, and our ambitions.
Jesus goes to the images which are of things that destroy us and destroy peoples. But they are not final. In all times he says that God is near and God is faithful.
Questions we ask in times of tragedy like wars, disasters. This is not the time for slick answers, but for rolling up our sleeves and working for peace and for prosperity again.
FAITH THAT NOBODY CAN TAKE FROM US
Staying together with God in these times, we find a faith that nobody can take from us, as Frankl found the in camp. Jesus said your endurance will win your life – can we find now what really endures in the depths of our heart – a deep love for family and extended family, a commitment to religious life in love, a love of the country shown in public service, a love which looks not for any reward but to do good for God and for others.
We remember with Pope Francis, the “many Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution because of their faith. We admire their courage and testimony. They are our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world suffer for their fidelity to Jesus Christ.” (November 2013).
Thank you Lord, for the people and causes that give a full meaning to life. May your kingdom come!
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger