Tuesday, November 24, 2015 ~ Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest and Martyr, and Companions, Martyrs
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: No doubt there have been many times throughout human history when people thought “this is it…these are the end times.” World War II and the evils of the Nazis for one; the cold war era with the former Soviet Union and threat of nuclear war; our current times as well with the evil of ISIS and terrorism and wars taking place around the world. “Teacher, when will this happen…” is on the tips of many tongues today as it has been throughout human history. Of course Jesus says in scripture that we do not know the day nor the hour of his second coming, of the end times, but the important question is are you ready? As you read this, are you ready for the second coming of Christ? If you have an intimate, loving relationship with Christ and love him above all things then yes, you are probably ready. Of course we need to ask: When did you make your last confession? Have you done any works of mercy? Have you lived your life in witness to Christ and the teachings of his Catholic Church? Okay, so maybe you’re not as ready as you originally thought, and perhaps your relationship with Christ is not what it should be. But there is no time like the present to undergo a radical conversion of mind and heart so that you are, in fact, living a life worthy to be called a disciple of Christ, and in a manner defined by sacred scripture, not the way of the world and the plethora of false prophets who pander teachings based on the “do whatever you want” attitudes of moral relativism. Be ready for him always and everyday – not out fear, but out of love of him, eager and ready to give an accounting of your life to Jesus at the throne of judgment.
Prayer: O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the Martyrs Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions faith to the Cross of your Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant through their intercession, that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth. 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: There are times when we don’t fully recognize the moral crisis and spiritual conflict of the age in which we live, until something wakes us up to the reality of this present condition. God reminds us that a future judgment and outcome awaits every person, as each of us were created by God. The reward for doing what is right and good and pleasing to God – doing God’s will – and the penalty for sinful rebellion and rejection of God are not always experienced in this present life, but this is sure to come the day of final judgment. The Lord Jesus tells us that there will be trials, suffering, and persecution in this present age until he comes again at the end of the world. God intends our anticipation of his final judgment to be a powerful deterrent to unfaithfulness and wrongdoing. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation Jesus extends grace and mercy to all who have a contrite heart, who recognize that we have strayed from following him and have sinned. Do not pass up, even for one day, the profound two word invitation of Jesus – “follow me” – and to receive his grace and mercy through a good confession. Remember, too, not to cling simply to human laws but instead to divine laws and teachings. Following the flawed human opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court justices will not get you to heaven; following the divine laws of God and faith and moral teachings of God’s prophets and of his son, Jesus Christ, will get you to heaven. Turn a deaf ear to anyone and anything (especially advocacy groups) that lead you astray from following our one Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, for they offer nothing and achieve nothing; Jesus offers love and eternal life with him.