FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
23 NOVEMBER 2021
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?” He answered,
“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.” (Luke 21: 5-11)
How shall I live this Word?
We are in the last week of ordinary time, which takes us to the first Sunday of Advent. This week’s liturgy is entirely dominated by the vision of the last times, regarding which the disciples, like each of us, want answers, certainties, and security. Jesus’ response is peremptory, “Be careful not to be deceived.”
Unfortunately, we often look for an idol in which to have faith, a kind of temple that guarantees us security and in which to place our trust. And we end up finding it in ourselves, in our certainties and security, in some people who come in the name of Jesus but in reality are against Him, or in certain human institutions: liturgical, theological, juridical, political, which proclaim themselves willed by Christ Himself, while in reality they are a scandal and a contradiction to authentic faith! Jesus warns: “Do not go after them”. The only following is that indicated by Jesus Himself and witnessed by the Gospel. For us Christians, the perspective must always be that dominated by the figure of Jesus Christ. It is necessary to go in depth, to read the signs of the times, and to live one’s own today with vigilance. We need a critical judgment regarding our false idols and all those who present themselves to us as definitive masters. It is necessary to keep the memory of the Lord’s promise alive while waiting for everything to be fulfilled.
In yesterday’s commentary on the Gospel we spoke of total trust in God. We are careful not to lose our true point of reference. We are called to remember that life inevitably moves towards a final judgment. This dramatic time, yet so necessary, can be lived without fear, indeed with a profound trust in the Father who wants to come to us to judge us worthy of His life and of His kingdom.
Lord, please give me a vigilant heart able to recognize the false idols that constantly present themselves in my life. Give me a heart that is capable of choosing You every day, and renewing the desire to entrust myself totally to You!
The Voice of John Vannucci, Theologian
The Kingdom will come with the flowering of life in all its forms.
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