GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 23RD NOVEMBER 2016
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 23RD NOVEMBER 2016
WEDNESDAY OF THE 34TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST READING: Revelation 15:1-4
PSALM: Psalm 98:1-3, 7-9
GOSPEL: Luke 21:12-19
THEME: THE TRIALS OF DISCIPLESHIP
Christianity in some parts of the world has become a religion of compromise. Rather than allowing the Christian faith to bring about a positive change to our world, in some places and in some instances the tide of secularism has wreaked havoc to the Body of Christ. For fear of being persecuted, we sometimes hide the truth that has been handed over to us by martyrs of the faith and tolerate almost anything in the Church.
The picture painted in the First Reading is descriptive of the historical situation of the Church in the First Century A.D. The very first Christians were Jews. From the perspective of Judaism, Jews who had embraced Christianity were regarded as heretics and enemies of the Jewish religion. Persecution of Christians by adherents of Judaism was seen as a religious duty and a sign of faithfulness to the unadulterated faith of Moses and the prophets. The mission to the gentiles also brought in a lot of non-Jews to the Christian fold and these Gentile-Christians also had their own share of sufferings. Their choice to become Christians was seen as countercultural by their contemporaries and they had to pay dearly for it. The text of the First Reading therefore served as a source of encouragement to these persecuted Christians. Faced with series of trials, they recalled the words of the master – “You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls” (Lk 21:17-19).
Endurance is the ability to continue walking on a chosen path despite adverse conditions; it is the power to withstand hardships. It is a virtue that every Christian needs in a world that is passing away. To be Christian in SOME situations does not bring trials but to choose to be Christian in EVERY situation comes with a lot of trials. Some have lost friendships, marriages, jobs, wealth etc, on account of their faith in Christ. The message of today comes to encourage everyone of us who feels persecuted in one situation or the other. Let us endure for there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you never promised that there would be no trials on the journey. I look beyond the dark night of my present situation and trust that you would make the sun to shine anew on my path. Amen
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).