Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
November 24, 2020
Memorial Feast: Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions (1795-+1839) Patron of the Diocese of Orange
Book of Revelation 14:14-19; Psalm 96:10-13; Luke 21:5-11
As I mentioned in yesterday’s reflection, the Church liturgical year will come to an end, and we will start the New Year in the season of Advent. At the end of the church annual calendar, many scripture readings pertain to the end of time, and the Gospel narrative of Saint Luke does just that. Jesus describes the signs of the end time and makes two critical points. He reminds us, “See that you not be deceived,” and “Do not be terrified.” Let’s explore these two statements:
First, “See that you not be deceived:” Our Lord tells His followers not to be too ready to believe everything that they hear. The message we are being given is that the end “does not follow immediately.” No one, especially no government or private entity, can adequately manifest our Holy Gospel of life nor ever will.
Second, “Do not be terrified.” We should never panic when we hear how terrible the world is or how, for whatever reason, we are being maltreated. We should always be alarmed when we hear of wars, natural disasters, and social upheavals but never terrified. These horrible events have been occurring throughout human history, and we have survived them all. Most of all, we should not contribute to the chaos and troubles with our own words and actions. This is when we step back and take a breath and know that we are in the hands of our one true God, who is love.
The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) told a theater story where a variety show was being presented. Each show was more fantastic than the last and widely applauded by the audience. After the fourth show and just before the fifth, the theater manager came on stage and announced that the theater was on fire. He begged, and the audience thought it was the most amusing part of the evening and began to applaud even more vigorously. The manager ran for his life as the fire raced through the entire building, and the audience went with it. Kierkegaard concluded, “And so, will our age, I sometimes think, go down in fiery destruction to the applause of a crowded house of cheering spectators.”
Questions of the Day: What does living fully today mean for you? How will you harvest everything life and God have for you today?
Prayer: May God strengthen you in His power and love. Amen.