Be steadfast in our faith

by Shiu Lan
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Malachi 3:19-20A

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Luke 21:5-19

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.