Nov 13 2020 Reflection
Friday 13 November 2020
First Reading: 2 JN 4-9
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
PS 119:1, 2, 10, 11, 17, 18
Gospel Reading: LK 17:26-37
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”
One in the field must not return to what was left behind. (Luke 17:31)
Today’s Gospel reading can be somewhat scary. Could it really happen that at the end, some will be taken to heaven and others will be “left behind” (Luke 17:31)? And if that really is the case, who would be left behind? Could it be us? Or a loved one?
When it comes to end times, however, the Church cautions us against reading too much into biblical images or trying to fit current events into the Scriptures. So when we reflect on today’s Gospel, perhaps we would find more insight if we thought less about whether we might be mysteriously whisked to heaven and more about how we’re spending our time here on earth.
We may not live to see Jesus return, but we will all come face-to-face with him at our death. When that happens, all the possessions that we’ve spent our lives accumulating and caring for will be left behind. So will our loved ones, our jobs, and our unfinished plans.
As sobering as this may sound, there is also a lot of hope in today’s Gospel reading. Think about the saints—what did they leave behind? No one remembers what they wore or what kind of house they lived in. But we do remember their love, faith, sacrifice, trust in the face of suffering, kindness, and courage, as well as the fruits of these traits: hospitals, homeless shelters, religious orders, a body of inspired teachings, and a host of spiritual sons and daughters.
So what will you leave behind? Perhaps a family more united because of your commitment to reconciliation. Maybe a parish that is closer to Jesus because of your witness to the joy of the Lord. Maybe grandchildren who are more thirsty for Jesus because of your intercession.
Tomorrow is not assured. So what is Jesus calling you to do today? Begin by listening to the small promptings he has placed in your heart and acting on them. Someday Jesus will call you home. Until then, do your part to make the world a better place for the people you will leave behind. Start now!
“Jesus, show me how I can leave behind a legacy of faith in you and love for one another.”