Be steadfast in our faith

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Malachi 3:19-20A

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters: You know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

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."

In this Sunday’s Gospel Reading, we heard about Jesus’ prediction of things to come in this world before the end of time. He talked about wars, nation rising against nation, people against people, earthquakes, famines, plagues and betrayal by one’s parents, siblings, relatives and friends. He talked about people being persecuted even to the point of death because of the name of Christ.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus foretold what life will be many years down the road. His prediction not only came true throughout history but also in our world today where we are beaten with natural disasters, diseases, commotion and unrest, massive exodus, wars and persecution. It is heart breaking that after years of civilization in the history of mankind, people still treat one another cruelly and brutally. Believers are still being persecuted and even killed because of their Christian faith.

It is hard not to lose heart when in each new day, what is in the news are updates of calamities, unrests, killings and new afflictions and tragedies that seem to happen one after another with no end in sight. Added to this are the moral decay and self-destruction that mankind is going through in this day and age.

While it is hard not to lose heart, we must not lose heart. This Sunday’s readings provide food for thought and encouragement for us to stay positive and to persevere. Let it be our beacon of light as we navigate in this troubled world. Be steadfast in our faith. Do not be led astray and go after those who come in Jesus’ name and say “I am here” and “The time is near” (Gospel reading, Luke 21:8). We have Jesus’ promise that if we persevere and endure trials and sufferings to follow His way, “you will gain your souls” (Gospel reading, Luke 21:19) which is the single most important goal in our life. Let Jesus’ promise sustain us as we strive to live out His teachings every day and every moment of our life.

Posted: November 13, 2016

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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