for Sunday, November 10, 2013
Am I willing to do for my faith? Am I willing to suffer ridicule for my
faith? Am I willing to be formed in my faith by the Scriptures and by the
Church? These are the questions that come to mind this Sunday as we read
the Scripture given to instruct us in the way of the Lord Jesus.
The Second Book of Maccabees gives us an account of what happens when a
faith is persecuted. We need not think that we Christians are the only
ones persecuted, even today. There are places in the world where Jews are
still persecuted, places where Muslims are persecuted, places where
Buddhists are persecuted and places where we Christians are persecuted.
The challenge for all of us is to remain faithful to the truth that we have
discovered in our lives and to listen to the truth of others without fear.
It is so often fear of others and a fear of another way of looking at life
that brings about persecution.
The Second Letter to the Thessalonians begins to speak about the
faithfulness of Christ, who is always present for us, watching over us with
love, seeking to help us. Our challenge is to respond to that love.
Especially if we are ever persecuted or misunderstood, we need to have
confidence that Christ knows us as we really are and is present with us in
every circumstance, helping us in His own divine way.
The Gospel of Saint Luke talks about heaven and what heaven will be like.
It also deals with a misinterpretation of heaven and the afterlife. It is
far too easy for us to think of heaven as simply another version of earth
and to think that all of the ways that things happen here will also happen
there in heaven. Jesus wants us to be clear that heaven is nothing like
earth and yet is not entirely different. There are clearly relationships
with one another, but not based on the same criteria that we have here on
earth. There is certainly a closeness to one another, but not with
marriage as we know it here on earth.
All of the teachings today are preparing us for the end of the world and
for our own death at the end of our life. Consistently in the Scriptures
we find an awareness that our own lives will end one day and we shall meet
the Lord. There is also a consistent awareness that the world as we know
it is passing away and at some point there will be an end to the world.
None of this is meant to scare us but to prepare us. We are meant to be
aware that we are now choosing the meaning of our own lives. We want to be
choosing values and realities that will last forever because all other
values and realities will disappear. We want to be choosing to follow the
Lord Jesus because it is He who invites us to share life eternal. We want
our lives to be transformed as much as possible now so that we are prepared
for the joys of heaven.
My sisters and brothers, let us seek to know our Lord Jesus and to develop
our relationship with Him every day. Knowing Him and living in Him makes
us wonderful friends and companions to others in this life as well as
preparing us for the heavenly banquet. Let us be faithful. Let us live
our faith. Let us live always in love.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: 2 Maccabees 7.1-2, 7, 9-14++
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2.16 – 3.5
Gospel: Luke 20.27-38
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: