NOVEMBER 25. Ord Time (B) Wk 34. Thu. Lk 21. 20-28
Updated: Nov 25
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate. Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it. For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!
‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.
‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.’
What we are being told here is; - before the world ends there is to be much suffering. What we often forget is the truth God the Father, in his Wisdom and Love gave value to Suffering; - in all its forms; - via the life and teachings of his only Son - Jesus Christ!!
Through it: we make atonement and reparation for our own sins and the sins of the world! Through it: we bear witness to our Faith and Trust in God’s merciful love! Through it: we bear witness to our own love of God and Neighbour! Through it: we are able to join in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his only Son, who sacrificed his life on a Cross in atonement for our sins; - motivated by Love of God, and Love of souls!
But; in order for our love of God and Neighbour to bear fruit; - give glory to God; - and be beneficial to souls and the Church; - we first have to abandon our worldly loves; - desires; - and concerns; - as God does not want to share our love with the desires and concerns of this world.
Love, when it is genuine, always confines itself to the one person; - and does not admit to “being watered down or shared”; - by others, by “things” or by “possessions”!
It is not easy to abandon one’s desires, loves and concerns, as it demands genuine Faith and Trust in the Wisdom and Merciful Love of Our Father; - together with a willingness to sacrifice them in order to imitate Jesus Christ, his only Son; - who sacrificed his life for us; - on Calvary!
How quickly we forget that Christ himself has walked ahead of us on this road; - and showed us “the way!” O how hard and painful it is to abandon our own desires and concerns? And place our hope and trust in the love and wisdom of Jesus Christ; - in imitation of Abraham, our Father in Faith?
It demands a generous heart, strong Faith, Trust, and genuine abandonment to the Will of God; motivated by both Love of God and Love of neighbour! What does it mean to Trust in Jesus?
It means abandonment of all our desires, worries and concerns, in favour of Trust in the merciful love of Jesus Christ; - who gave his life on a Cross for our salvation; - while fully aware of all our sins and failures!
It means believing, as Abraham believed, that nothing can happen to me that Jesus Christ has not permitted to happen; - and then Trusting in his Divine Wisdom and Merciful Love!
Gospel Acclamation Lk21:28
Lift up your heads and see:
your redemption is near at hand.
First reading Daniel 6:12-28 Daniel in the lions' den
The presidents and satraps came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading with God. They then came to the king and said, ‘Have you not just signed an edict forbidding any man for the next thirty days to pray to anyone, god or man, other than to yourself O king, on pain of being thrown into the lions’ den?’ ‘The decision stands,’ the king replied ‘as befits the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.’ Then they said to the king, ‘O king, this man Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, disregards both you and the edict which you have signed: he is at his prayers three times each day.’ When the king heard these words he was deeply distressed, and determined to save Daniel; he racked his brains until sunset to find some way out. But the men came back in a body to the king and said, ‘O king, remember that in conformity with the law of the Medes and the Persians, no edict or decree can be altered when once issued by the king.’
The king then ordered Daniel to be fetched and thrown into the lion pit. The king said to Daniel, ‘Your God himself, whom you have served so faithfully, will have to save you.’ A stone was then brought and laid over the mouth of the pit; and the king sealed it with his own signet and with that of his noblemen, so that there could be no going back on the original decision about Daniel. The king returned to his palace, spent the night in fasting and refused to receive any of his concubines. Sleep eluded him, and at the first sign of dawn he was up, and hurried off to the lion pit. As he approached the pit he shouted in anguished tones, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God, whom you serve so faithfully, been able to save you from the lions?’ Daniel replied, ‘O king, live for ever! My God sent his angel who sealed the lions’ jaws, they did me no harm, since in his sight I am blameless, and I have never done you any wrong either, O king.’ The king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel to be released from the pit. Daniel was released from the pit, and found to be quite unhurt, because he had trusted in his God. The king sent for the men who had accused Daniel and had them thrown into the lion pit, they, their wives and their children: and they had not reached the floor of the pit before the lions had seized them and crushed their bones to pieces.
King Darius then wrote to men of all nations, peoples and languages throughout the world, ‘May peace be always with you! I decree: in every kingdom of my empire let all tremble with fear before the God of Daniel:
‘He is the living God, he endures for ever,
his sovereignty will never be destroyed
and his kingship never end.
He saves, sets free, and works signs and wonders
in the heavens and on earth;
he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.’