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33rd Sunday in O.T.
November 15, 2015


Are You Prepared?

 


 

 

Reading 1

Mal 3:19-20a

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.

 

Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

Responsorial Psalm

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.

2 Thes 3:7-12

Reading 2

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.

Lk 21:5-19

Gospel

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."

 

 

 

Homily/Sermon

 

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.  Today!!

 

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 life!"

 

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.

 

The 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 and salvation.

 

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 Christ

 

 

Deacon Steve

November 14, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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