Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be possessed

Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time—C

Malachi 3:19-20a
2Thessalonians 3:7-12
Luke 21:5-19

The Gospel and first reading offer an odd mixture of terrifying imagery and comforting reassurance. The day is coming, we are told, which will blaze like an oven—yet also arise with healing rays. Wars, earthquakes, and persecution will besiege us, but not a hair on our heads will be destroyed.

What are we to make of such language?

It is not an easy question to answer, but ultimately God’s Word is always a message of hope. In a fallen world distorted by sin, “such things must happen,” Jesus tells us. In the meantime, maintaining proper perspective, patience, and purpose of mind are essential. The Kingdom of God is both “now” and “not yet," so as Christians, we strive daily to effect what we yearn for.

Since grace is a gift that imparts responsibility, we must “work quietly” amid life’s contradictions and place our hope in God alone. As the Vulgate translation of the last verse from today’s Gospel promises: “in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras,” or, “in your patience you shall possess your souls.”

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