33rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Well here we are at the 33rd Sunday of ordinary time we are near the end of the liturgical year as well as that we are at the end of the year of Mercy. These days we live in very uncertain times, things in the world at large are very different with the election of Donald Trump as president of the USA. As the saying goes what a difference a week makes. So what does our Gospel for this Sunday tell us, This gospel reading from Luke is there to help us to be honest with ourselves as we go forward to the feast of Christ the King and then on to Advent as it talks about the end times. This weekend Luke’s gospel places Jesus in the temple. Those around him were marvelling at the temple, the stone carvings, the offerings of the people to God were a source of amazement. Jesus threw cold water on their thoughts about the great temple. When people commented on its glory Jesus prophesied that doom and gloom would come from their spiritual slumber. Jesus also stated that there will come a time when the temple with all its glory will lie in ruins, its magnificence gone and the place a place of desolation. To the crowd around him who heard what he said this was inconceivable.
The temple was the hinge of Jewish life, something solid to hang onto in hard times. Naturally they wanted to know when it would happen. Jesus didn’t give them or us a date or time when this would happen. Jesus also assured his followers of divine help of God when the time of trial came. Those people who have the courage to live the Way of Jesus are often questioned, interrogated, and abused because they are following Jesus. They give witness by how they live their daily lives and many persecuted people have given their lives in so many places in recent times. In these first 16 Years of the twenty first century we are faced with terrible inequity of living standards in many countries. For many people there is the awful crushing experience of being left out, being left behind. Many people don’t want to understand the pain and isolation that comes from being excluded from so many things for instance exclusion from education and healthcare these are just two examples of people being denied opportunities for a better life there are many more and there are many people around and about us who are afflicted and Jesus came to comfort them in what he did and what he said.
How are we responding to the issues of our time as we look towards the future this weekend wondering what that future holds for us as we think about this we also remember that the words of Jesus in the Gospels are there to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted! None of us have the answers if we had the answers, I don’t know that we would be any better than we are. This weekend when we think about the end times in the scripture we pray for one another, for faith that endures, a faith that perseveres, and a faith that lasts till the very end of the doom and gloom of the dark night that we sometimes have to go through until we come to the light of Christ!