33rd Sunday in OT (C) - Being pure of mind and body like the angels.
33rd SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
November 17, 2013
GOSPEL READING: The Poor Widow’s Contribution / The Sign of the End /
The Proclamation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said,
Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen? ”Do not follow them!
“Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
The Gospel of St. Luke has three stories arranged starting from the aftermath, signs before the aftermath of all, and the beginning of all - persecutions of the people of God where strength and truth is God's holy name.
We are told that some people are speaking about how precious the temple is in its outward appearance. Jesus Christ told them that the days will come when this adorned temple will be destructed. We see here the connection of the first reading we read in Malachi 3:19-20. Malachi says that the days of the destruction of the wicked people who are like and are part of the temple who is good in outward appearance but evil inside will be burned wholly just as the Lord had said. Malachi also added that for those who fear the name of the Lord, "there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays", the righteous ones will be like calves who runs over or stampedes over the wicked, going back and forth, crushing the wicked with calves feet.
The destruction of the temple that was foretold by Jesus Christ may have a two-fold truth that is part also of the one and absolute truth. We know that Jesus Christ Body will be destructed, taking the corruption and wickedness in His Body that were actually made by sinners and evil doers. In order for us men to be saved, He let His Body to be destroyed in order for us to be destroyed from sin and death. To destroy the body that was inclined in doing wickedness and sin, Jesus Christ subjected His Body to destruction so that all of mankind will be destroyed, together with God, to the point of death. And in the Resurrection of God, Jesus Christ raises us from sin and death that was caused by bodily inclination to evil that Adam and Eve caused by subjecting the body in disobedience to God by being obedient to the devil, our bodies now is also part of God's Body which triumphed over sin and death - restores and promises an eternal life after the Resurrection of Christ' Body from death.
I said earlier that it is a two-fold truth. One pertains to the Resurrection of the Body of Christ which is the Temple or the Church and its connection to our bodies and a community of bodies that we call Church, the other one pertains to the Parousia or the Second Coming of Christ. We know that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. In His coming we know that He will judge everyone - those who constitutes His Body, those who are pain in His Body, those who works on the healing of His Body and the strengthening of It, those who are not yet part of His Body - all of us - will be judged by God. All of our bodies will be destroyed from sin and death, from impurity and imperfection, and God will judge us - according to our deeds and obedience to the Holy Will of the Father. He will raise the righteous and He will destroy the wicked in eternal damnation. He will restore the original goodness of the body of man on His Second Coming.
Then we are signalled by Christ to be vigilant and observant to the signs of the end times. Be on your guard against false prophets and false witnesses.
But before the manifestation of the end times becomes evident, Jesus Christ told us that we will be persecuted by all especially the authorities and the people of power because of God's name But don't ever worry says the Lord. For God will provide at that instant, at that moment, the defense we are about to say. The Infinite Wisdom Jesus Christ will give us "wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute."
We will be hated by all because of His name, "but not a hair on your head will be destroyed." Because God is all-knowing and in His Infinite Wisdom knows how many hairs we have in our heads, He knows what we are up to; He knows what is going on. God will not let us lose our identity - the identity of ours that God infinitely know by His Infinite Wisdom, He will not let death destroy the mark of God in us, the identity that we are in God's mind and His mind is full of the thought of us, every moment of our lives. Our hair on our heads are numbered, our identity to God is in God and will never be destroyed.
"By your perseverance you will secure your lives." In persevering in life, we must imitate St. Paul and his company who became examples how to live an orderly life which we read in the second reading of this very Sunday. St. Paul exhorts us to take sacrifices in order to be an example to others, "losing our lives for God's sake thus securing and saving our lives."
Here are some points to consider:
1. We must be pure in mind and body like the angels.
2. Again, we must be vigilant and observant.
3. We must trust the Lord that He will send us wisdom to speak in defense against our persecutors.
4. We must lose our lives for the sake of God's name.
5. Our identity as God identify Himself in us should be our strength.
6. We must live an orderly life.
"Jesus, I trust in You." "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Mary H. Distributist