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.