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.
R. (cf. 9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice. Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD. R. The Lord comes to rule the
earth with justice. Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy. R. The Lord comes to rule the
earth with justice. Before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to rule the earth, He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity. R. The Lord comes to rule the
earth with justice.
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."
There are more today's than there are tomorrow's.
Yesterday? Well, yesterday is just a showcase of what used
to be, perhaps captured by pictures, cam recorders, and
certainly memories. But yesterday isn't now. It's gone.
Only there for the viewing; for the memory. Yesterday can
be learned from and we can relive the good times of
yesterday. We can also be haunted by the bad times of
yesterday. Tomorrow? Can we really be sure about
tomorrow? We make plans for tomorrow, do we not? We even
anticipate tomorrow; The upcoming birthday, wedding,
anniversary, Christmas, other holidays, our payday check, if
we are fortunate to even have a job in these days and
times; a reunion with relatives, and on and on and on. But
in all reality, tomorrow is basically nonexistent. About the
only thing we can do is to prepare for it's coming. And
that is something that Jesus talks about in the gospel
reading for today. A little more about that in a moment or
two. The preparing that we do for tomorrow, we do today.
Ah! So that is where the action take place my friends.
There are a whole lot of folks though talking about
tomorrow. In fact, a whole lot of folks are warning us
about tomorrow, you know that beaten down theme about the
end times coming, that end times that folks were thinking
was coming soon after Jesus ascended into heaven. Oh yes,
they saw all of the signs back then; you know the wars, the
famine, the plagues, the earthquakes. Yes, they were busy
warning people about the end times. "You better get your
life in order cause it was coming very soon, mostly trying
to instill fear. Fear does nothing for anyone but
cause more fear? It
does not change people's hearts, it does not make them to want to start loving
and putting God first in their lives. It does not scare the
devil right out of them. I doubt that too many fell for the
fear factor Yes, I have seen it happen all of the time. And
I'm sure that you have too. Don't know too many who have
turned to the Lord out of fear, especially about something
that is on tap to happen tomorrow. . But you know what, in
my life's experience, folks will usually respond and change
when we approach them about God's love with that same love
that Jesus has for us.
There are some well meaning ministers, preachers, pastors,
and even lay people who all have this "end times" thing all
figured out, but often to instill fear in those who will
listen. I just prefer to use the approach that Jesus
used in His gospels, that of love and forgiveness.
Nonetheless, I am of the notion that we could very well be
living at the very beginning of what is to end.
However, as I understand
it, what Jesus is speaking of
in this reading is of the
present, and is
far from idyllic; betrayal, persecution, even death for the
sake of faith in him. Little wonder that some early
Christians longed for the imminent return of Christ to put
an end to their suffering. But Jesus speaks of the present
time as a real opportunity, a chance to bear witness to our
faith, to the reason for our hope. It is that faith which
enables us to face the daily problems which life brings. It
is not that we are immune to suffering, depression,
persecution, disease, or death, but rather that our faith
means we are able to overcome these outcomes. "Yes, you may
have to die for your faith," says the Lord, but "your
endurance will win you your lives – the gift of eternal
We can all be tempted to live in the future. Perhaps
we long for escape from the boredom or drudgery of our lives
today, perhaps to escape from violence, terrorism,
corruption, and oppression in it's various forms.
What happened in Paris,
France on Friday is such a tragedy, such a loss of human
life by terrorists of so filled with hate, and that kind of
hate, that evil is not of any God that I know of, not the
God that I honor and worship. It is pure and simple,
the manisfestation of the Evil one himself, Satan! We
definitely need to pray for all of those who affected by
this terrible act.
There have been
happenings in our country even recently that indicate that
terrorism is for real, let us not be fooled my friends, The persecutions of Christians throughout this
world, and this country, is also real.
Terrorism, persecutions, and corruption are so very real
these days and times. Perhaps it clearly is an
indication of the very begging of things to come. Are we prepared for it, and I believe that it will get much
worse. It seems like so many in our government
are corrupt (in the sense that they harbor an ideology that
is not of God, as lies
and deceit abound. But that is not the case with most
of our elected leaders. Is this all a part of the end
times that Jesus speaks about? Quite possibly.
But there is a whole lot more that Jesus talks about
concering the end times, and you would have to read the
beginning of this chapter in gospel to the end to get the a
full understanding of it.
challenge dear friends is not to wait for the future for
things to get better, but to allow this day – every day – to
be the "Day of the Lord" for us all; to be a time when the
Lord can come with power into our lives to bring his healing
Perhaps we should seize the day – use the opportunity of the
present moment to bear witness to our faith and hope; not
to let tragedies and disappointments' of life deflect us
from what is important. We must persevere, we must endure,
we must continually pray. Today is the 'Day of the Lord';
he comes precisely in our everyday lives. As Christians or
simply as God's children, we are called to live in the
present moment, for this is where we will find Christ, and
it is here and now that we bear witness to him! Let us
not turn a deaf ear to what is going on, and let us respond
with much fervent prayer, for only through prayer can we be
prepared for ourselves and the world. Yours in