Saturday, November 17, 2007
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - C
Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and
all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set
them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of
hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of
justice with its healing rays.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:7-12
Brothers and sisters: You know how one must imitate us. For we did not
act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free
from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we
worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the
right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so
that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we
instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should
that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in
a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of
others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to
work quietly and to eat their own food.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with
costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here
-- the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another
stone that will not be thrown down." Then they asked him, "Teacher,
when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these
things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be
deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The
time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and
insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation
will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be
powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and
awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. "Before all
this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will
hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you
led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to
your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense
beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all
your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even
be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they
will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my
name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your
perseverance you will secure your lives."
The Catholic Church does not ignore the fact that the world as we know
it will come to an end, and that Jesus Christ will return on the Day
of Judgment. However, the emphasis placed by the Church is on what we
do on a day-to-day basis to make the kingdom of God real in our world.
We need to remember that Jesus taught his disciples not to worry about
when the end of the world would come. As part of our baptismal call we
are to participate in fulfilling the mission of Christ. We are to
concern ourselves with bringing God's kingdom into our daily lives, to
establish his kingdom here and now on earth as it is in heaven.
But why does the Church place the Gospel on the destruction of
Jerusalem at this time when we are one week away from the Feast of
Christ the King, marking the end of the liturgical year? To understand
today's Gospel we have to first look at it in the context of the
liturgical movement, then look at the context of the Gospel passage,
and lastly, look at how it relates to you.
First, why these readings now? To understand this, we must first look
at what the Eucharistic liturgy is all about. The liturgy is the whole
Church celebrating the story of salvation, re-living it, making it a
reality in our lives. Every 12 months the cycle of salvation is
repeated. We not only re-read it; we re-present it and make God's
wonderful works effectively present in us.
Now, what does the Gospel say? Note first that Luke 21 contains not
one prediction but two: the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of
the world. Our problem at this moment is - today's Gospel foretells
only the destruction of Jerusalem. There it stops. The prophecy on the
fate of Jerusalem took place in the year 70 A.D. when the Romans
literally leveled Jerusalem after crushing the Jewish rebellion.
The part more pertinent for our liturgy is the second prediction - the
end of the world. For Luke, the end of Jerusalem is a starting point
for an end more astonishing still. Cosmic signs will accompany it;
signs in the sun and moon, and stars, signs in the raging sea. With
these signs you will "see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power
and great glory." Here is the end of the world, as we know it.
Whether the Lord is coming next week or a thousand years from now, our
task is to live as if he is were arriving tomorrow. Better still as if
he were already here. Because he is. Someday he will come in power and
glory to place all creation at the feet of his Father. But today he
comes quietly, subtly, invisibly wherever you are. Look for him in
your gathering together. Look for him in the preached word, in the
sacred bread you cradle in your hand or on your tongue. Look for him
inside you. Look for him at home, on the faces of your dear ones. But
look for him especially where he told you to - in the hungry and
thirsty, the stranger and the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.
Christ will like what he sees only if I am preparing the kind of
kingdom he proclaimed: a world where justice and peace and love reign.
That kingdom is conceived not in the Malacañang, or the White House,
or the Kremlin, but where each of us lives and operates; not in the
United Nations, but in each human heart - In your heart. Do you like
what you see?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of:
- Damaso Guevara, Eligia Fernando, Sr. Belen Latorre, DC
- Epifania Ylaya
... for the personal intentions of Mary G, Chris, Msgr. Miller,
Virginia, Theresa ... Good health: Guevarra Family ... In Memoriam:
Joseph Whang, Sr.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Janelle Lim
- Birthday: Olivia Ng
- Birthday: Richard F. Agbayani
- Wedding Anniversary: Isabelle & Anthony Ng
- In Memoriam (+): Wong Yong
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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