Nov 24 2020 Reflection
Tuesday 24 November 2020
First Reading: RV 14:14-19
The Lord comes to judge the earth.
PS 96:10, 11-12, 13
Gospel Reading: LK 21:5-11
Today’s Note: Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
The Lord . . . comes to rule the earth . . . with justice. (Psalm 96:13)
The theme for the readings for the end of Ordinary Time is similar to what we will hear in the first two weeks of Advent: Jesus will come again. Our faith tells us that this is good news, but these readings can still scare us. Just look at today’s passage from Revelation: God’s angel wielding his sharp sickle and reaping the harvest of souls at the end of time!
The Church teaches us how to hear these difficult Scripture passages, and it’s exactly what today’s responsorial psalm proclaims: “The Lord . . . comes to rule the earth.” And how will he rule it? “With justice” (Psalm 96:13).
What will that look like? Try to imagine a world in which every person is valued and respected, a world in which horrors like abortion, human trafficking, war, and racism no longer exist. Imagine a world that is freed once and for all from sin, death, and the lies of the evil one. We all long for this. We all look forward to the day when we are welcomed into the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1). It may begin with a high-stakes Last Judgment, but it is fulfilled when Jesus comes to reign and makes right all that is wrong in the world.
We don’t know how or when this will happen. But God doesn’t want us to resign ourselves to the sad state of the world. Jesus inaugurated his kingdom when he came to earth, and he now asks us to work together to build a better world, in whatever area he is calling us to do that.
God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to remember that he is not only just but merciful as well. As long as we stay close to the Lord, we have no reason to be afraid. Instead, we should see Jesus’ coming as a sign of joy and the promise of our final, glorious rescue. In spite of the darkness around us, we can place our hope in him and look forward to the reign of God when all things will be put right. Just imagine what a glorious day that will be!
“Lord Jesus, I trust in your mercy and wait with eager expectation for you to come again.”