for Sunday, November 13, 2016
The end of the world will happen one day. Even science admits this. But for us who believe, the end of the world means the beginning of a new world. Jesus invites us to live now in a way that will give us life in the world to come.
The first reading today is a magnificent passage from the Prophet Malachi, speaking about the destruction of evil and evildoers. Today no one wants to think about judgment and everyone presumes that God will protect bad people from the results of their bad actions. The truth is that God gives us freedom and back actions produce bad results in our world. We see this so clearly in the almost total loss of values in developed countries today.
So many people today believe that we humans can do anything and that nothing bad results from it. We don't want to recognize any connection with the present lack of values and the many incidents of violence, the wars that are constantly about, the trafficking of humans, the breakup of families, and so on. We humans believe that we can fix everything and on our own terms.
The Scriptures, however, keep repeating this advice: live well and all shall be well. The Prophet Malachi puts it this way: "But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays."
The second reading today comes from the Second Letter to the Thessalonians. Here we encounter a situation in which some believers don't think that they need to work anymore. Why? We are not sure, but perhaps for some of them, this attitude came from believing that the end of the world would happen immediately and there was no use in continuing to work. This Second Letter to the Thessalonians is clear: work and don't be a burden to others.
The Gospel of Luke brings us back to thinking about the end of the world. This passage of Luke's Gospel does not tell us anything about when the end will come. The real teaching is not about the end of the world, but about how to live in this world here and now. Even if it looks like everything is about to end, the most important aspect is for us to remain faithful to God and to God's word. So Saint Luke tells us: "By your perseverance you will secure your lives." Perseverance in the faith, perseverance in love, perseverance in service to others. My sisters and brothers, the end does not matter! What matters is to remain faithful to Jesus and His Church through all of our difficulties.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Malachi 4.1-2
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3.7-12
Gospel: Luke 21.5-19
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: