November 13, 2022: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: 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 rulers 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 powerfulness 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.”
So many “scenes” in the Gospel passage can be found in our world today. And they have happened in years past and will be repeated again in years to come. Jesus lays out the cost of discipleship and we know that many in our world pay that price. Whenever I hear this passage I wonder if that time will ever come for me and how will I handle it? I fear that my answer is always, “Not well.”
Whatever the future holds, I pray for “a wisdom” in speaking and for “perseverance that will secure my life.”