Tuesday, November 25 ~ Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr

Holy Gospel: Luke 21:5-11 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.”

Meditation: Jesus’ prophecy is a two-edged sword, because it points not only to God’s judgment, but also to his saving action and mercy. Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem and the dire consequences for all who would reject him and his saving message. While the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple was determined (it was razed by the Romans in 70 A.D.), there remained for its inhabitants a narrow open door leading to deliverance. Jesus says: “I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved” (John 10:9).  Jesus willingly set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet betrayal, rejection, and death on a cross. His death on the cross, however, brought about victory and salvation, not only for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but for all – both Jew and gentile – who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Is your life securely submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ?

Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Catherine of Alexandria to your people as a Virgin and an invincible Martyr, grant that through her intercession we may be strengthened in faith and constancy and spend ourselves without reserve for the unity of the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation: A former judge, Robert H. Bork, wrote a book a few decades ago entitled, Slouching Towards Gomorrah. His message sounds an alarm about the moral crisis and decay of culture which he sees in Western society. We often don’t recognize the moral crisis and spiritual conflict of our age, until something “shakes us up” to the reality of our present condition. The reward for the righteous and the penalty for the unrighteous are not always experienced in this life; but they are sure to come in the day of judgment. There will be persecution, suffering, and difficulties in this age until the Lord comes again. God intends our anticipation of his final judgment to be a powerful deterrent to wrongdoing. God extends grace and mercy to all who will heed his call and his warning.  Do you take advantage of God’s grace and mercy to seek his kingdom and to pursue his will? Recall what we read in scripture: “Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10C)