Home » Gospel Reflections » November 17, 2019: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel reflection

November 17, 2019: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading: Luke 21: 5-19

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.”


As I read this Gospel I thought of the popular TV show, “This is Us.” I feel as if our world is experiencing so much of what Jesus described 2000 years ago — environmentally, politically, religiously, spiritually. And I find myself begging for “wisdom in speaking,” and the courage to make my voice heard in the midst of today’s realities.


Choose a world/national situation you are concerned about (the environment, hunger, detained immigrant children, lack of health care for those without resources, etc.) and call or write a government leader.
Pray for wisdom to base your opinion on Gospel values and state your position clearly.

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Sister Ann Casper

Sister Ann Casper, SP, retired as the executive director for Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Providence in 2018 and currently serves as minister of Providence Community Cemetery at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. Sister Ann has ministered in various scholastic and administrative positions in Indiana and North Carolina. She also was a member of the Sisters of Providence leadership team, serving as General Secretary.

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  1. Denise Wilkinson on November 14, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Ann – I read this to “take a break” between two challenging tasks I have to finish today. Thanks for adding another challenge. Made my day.

  2. Mary Ellen Olbrisch on November 16, 2019 at 8:35 am

    What a timely Gospel in a week where courageous public servants are being subjected to ridicule and criticism as they give testimony on behalf of our cherished values and our freedom-loving allies. Somehow all public discourse gets boiled down to good guys against bad guys, with each side believing they are on the side of the angels, hence anything goes in tearing down those on the other side. And what a reminder to judge others not by what they say, but by what they do. God grant us the courage to speak on behalf of what is right and just, and even more so to act in the interest of justice.

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