Wednesday, November 13, 2013

33rd Sunday in OT (C) - By your Perseverance you will Secure your Lives

Luke 21:5-19
November 17, 2013

GOSPEL READING: The Poor Widow’s Contribution / The Destruction of the Temple Foretold / The Sign of the End / The Coming Persecution

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he 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.

REFLECTION: By your Perseverance you will Secure your Lives

The first part of the Gospel speaks of Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem. The disciples were awed by the size and splendor of the temple. We are like the disciples who are also awed by the beauty and splendor of God’s creation especially in the scenic places and buildings on this earth. However, we must not forget that all these have God as the source of all beauty. Psalm 8 states: ’’O Lord, our God, how awesome is your name through all the earth.”

The second part is the eschatological discourse of Jesus. He speaks of the signs of the end of the world. These seem to be frightening to us if we do not have faith in God Who is in control of everything. We should not be afraid of THE END because after that is another new beginning. Jesus predicts wars among nations, earthquakes famines and plagues, which are actually happening in this planet. We ask ourselves Why are these happening? When will these sufferings end? We cry to God for help. But the end is not here. Christ Himself tells us that nobody knows the time when THE END comes. Not even the angels. It is only God the Father Who knows it. We do not really know if this will happen during our lifetime. It is then good for us to heed the call of St. Paul (2Thes 3: 12-13 ) to work quietly not to burden other people and to continue doing good. Thus like the Boy / Girl Scouts  we should  always be prepared.

In the last part of the Gospel Jesus tells us of the future that awaits His disciples. He tells us that we will be persecuted for His sake. In our lives as Christians in this contemporary world, persecutions come our way not as fierce and violent as those of the first Christians but in subtle and different ways. It can happen in the workplace where faithful  Christians who live by the Gospel values are branded as old fashioned and out of this world.  In such case, a true disciple should stand by his/her faith and persevere in living according to the teachings of the Church and his/her informed conscience.

Jesus promises us of His protection and guidance everyday of our life. He gives us that assurance when he said “I am with you always, until the end of the age“ (Mt 28:2b). Our Father will give us the Holy Spirit to speak in our behalf and to strengthen us in times of trials and tribulations.  We must remain faithful as He is forever faithful to us We will persevere in doing what God wills for us as we call upon Him for unconditional love for His Son and His  Church.  At the end of our journey here on earth and as we come face to face with Him Whom we love and serve, we will receive our reward of eternal joy.


SR. LORETA A. PENULIAR, O.P. is the Prioress General of the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Peace based in Tarlac.


Ordinary Time, Cycle C, OP Sisters, Beauty, Faith, Eschatology, Persecution, Joy, Signs

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