GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 13TH NOVEMBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 13TH NOVEMBER 2016
33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST READING: Malachi 3:19-20
PSALM: Psalm 98:5-9
2ND READING: 2Thessalonians 3:7-12
GOSPEL: Luke 21:5-19
THEME: A GLIMPSE INTO THE END
Cardinal Newman once said, “Do not fear that your life shall come to an end but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.” Our experience here on earth has taught us that every material thing has an expiry date. Everything that has a beginning has an end.
Herod the Great was a master builder. In the eighteenth year (20-19 B.C.) of his reign, he rebuilt the Jerusalem temple on a grand scale. The main structure itself was constructed quickly – in about a year and a half – but it took many years for the final works to be done. It is said that the whole project was completed sometime in 63 A.D. From the historical information available, it appears the temple was really magnificent.
Our Gospel text gives us a scene of people admiring the temple project and speaking about its beauty. Reacting to this, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down” (Luke 21:6). True to the words of Jesus, sometime around A.D. 70, about 7years after the completion of the temple, the building was destroyed by the Romans.
Just as the Jerusalem temple, in spite of its beauty, was destined to fall to the ground, the temples of our human bodies are destined to fall at an appointed time in death. The question is: what next? Many of us do not like to think of the last things but in the end there are four things we each have to contend with – death, judgement, heaven and hell.
The theme of judgement is set forth in the First Reading, “See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch” (Mal 3:19 // 4:1). A message of hope, however, is given to those who seek to do the will of God, “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of justice will rise with healing in his rays, and you will come out leaping like calves from the stall” (Mal. 3:20 // Mal. 4:2).
There is a saying that “all shall pass”. Time and space are passing and eternity is beckoning us. The psalmist prays to the Lord saying, “Teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart” (Psa 90:12).
We can look at it this way: when a good seed falls into the soil, it germinates and becomes a plant but a bad seed would rot in the soil. In the same way, when we allow the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring out the goodness in us, the soil cannot hold us captive when we die; we shall rise to life. A rotten life here on earth, however, has a rotten end in view.
Let us therefore endeavor to live our lives in such a way that when the times comes for each one of us to die, we shall rest in peace and not in pieces.
Prayer: Eternal Father, teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom and live lives pleasing to you. Grant this through Christ, our Lord.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).