Sunday, November 13, 2022, four texts will be read.
First reading Book of the prophet Malachi (Ml 3, 19-20a).
Second reading Second letter of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians (1 Th 3, 7-12).
The Gospel according to Saint Luke (Lk 21, 5-19).
Luke 21, 5-19
As some spoke of the Temple, of the beautiful stones and of the ex-votos that decorated it, Jesus declared to them: “What you contemplate, the days will come when not one stone will remain: all will be destroyed. »
They asked him, “Master, when will this happen?” And what will be the sign that it is about to happen? »
Jesus replied, “Take heed that you are not led astray, for many will come under my name and say, ‘It is I,’ or ‘The time is at hand.’ Don’t walk behind them! When you hear of wars and disorders, do not be terrified: it must happen first, but it will not be the end immediately. »
Then Jesus added: “Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and, in various places, famines and epidemics; fearful phenomena will occur, and great signs from heaven. But before all that, they will lay hands on you and persecute you; you will be handed over to synagogues and prisons, you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. It will cause you to bear witness.
So put yourself in mind that you don’t have to worry about your defense. It is I who will give you a language and a wisdom that all your opponents will not be able to resist or oppose. You will be handed over even by your parents, your brothers, your family and your friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all, because of my name. But not a hair of your head will be lost. It is by your perseverance that you will keep your life. »
The Foretold Destruction of the Temple
In the Temple, the disciples of Jesus admire the Temple restored by Herod. They contemplate the beauty of its architecture and function. However, neither its beauty nor its function will prevent its destruction in the year 70. In an apocalyptic speech, Jesus announces to his disciples the approaching annihilation of the Temple as well as the fall of Jerusalem.
“Apocalypse”, as a literary genre, is neither history nor prophecy strictly speaking. It means “revelation” or “unveiling”. The Evangelist Luke then uses it with a certain sobriety to announce the coming of the Son of Man.
War and disorder are not, however, signs announcing the imminence of the eschatological judgment. They are among the accidents in the history of mankind. Even today, we find it difficult to take a step back to understand that always and everywhere the same drama of humanity is reproduced, carried by envy-jealousy, by the will to power and domination.
The media are constantly reporting on wars, terrorism, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, bombings, kidnappings, murders, sexual assaults, etc. Through his speech, Jesus puts into perspective all the evils that affect men.
Patience and firmness in faith
As always in troubled times, the prophets of doom arise. They use humanity’s thirst for security to impose themselves. They attract crowds claiming to bring peace when they want to establish their own power. All dream sellers act in the same way and regardless of their background: religious, civil or political. “Don’t Walk Behind Them” advises Jesus to his disciples.
However, it is from fear and anguish that Jesus wants to deliver men and women in his speech announcing the end of time. He does not give false hopes, does not falsely reassure. On the contrary, he warns that these times of wars and uprisings from which we are eager to emerge are likely to be long.
Jesus encourages his disciples to be patient and persevering, to stand firm in the faith. Not through effort or psychological work, but through the certainty of being loved: “Raise yourselves and lift up your head for your deliverance is near. » What Jesus will accomplish at Passover will be the revelation of love.
Trusting the word that creates us
Jesus invites his disciples to remember that at the most terrifying moments in their history they do not begin to act guided only by the desire to survive. They must preserve the vision that the world is being moved by God in a movement where life is destined to take over, if we know how to be persistent.
By death, Christ overcame death, giving life to all who follow him. We must lose all the supports on which we thought we could count and trust only the Word which creates us.
We have the time of day to serve him and love him, we have the space in our hearts to welcome the word of Jesus there, and the space in the world to take in prayer, with all the witnesses bearing his message of peace. It is time to do so!
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Bible Meditation: “Keep Your Mind in Hell and Do Not Despair”
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