by Sister Margaret Mary Halbach
The past few weeks, the readings have been moving toward the "end times" in our Liturgy. Today, especially in the Gospel from Luke, a dismal picture is painted of these "end times" ... the Second Coming of Christ. The people ask Jesus, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what signs will there be when these things happen?" He tells them that there will be a terrible time of trial. This test "will lead to your giving testimony to what you believe." Jesus assures them and us that He will give us the wisdom in giving that testimony. The Gospel ends with this assurance, "By your perseverance, you will secure your lives."
Last Sunday's story about the seven brothers of the Maccabees family gave an example of how their beliefs caused them to die for what they believed. Their mother stood by praying for strength and courage for them. We might not be asked to go to such extent but in smaller ways we will be asked to do the same. What does Jesus mean to us? Would we die for all Christ means to us? As we ponder these questions, we need to remember that we do not walk this journey alone. Jesus is with us through the love of family, friends and Community.
We are in the last days of Ordinary Time in our liturgical year. Next Sunday we celebrate Christ the King of the Universe. We need to think about the Second Coming of Christ. This would be a good time to read a part of the Book of Revelation and meditate on the phrase in the Nicene Creed ... "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead." Be confident in the Words of Scripture, "By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
"Dear Lord, There is no certainty that my life will be easier in the years ahead or that my heart will be any calmer. But there is certainty that you are waiting for me and will welcome me home when I have persevered in my long journey to your home."
Chapter 35, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
by Sister Lynne Marie
Prayer is a source of strength for us - we connect with God in our hearts and minds -- praising God, thanking God, asking God for help for ourselves or others, expressing our sorrow over our failings, or simply telling God of our love for him.
Take a few minutes each day in quiet -- let God enfold you in love and peace. Rest in God's love and find strength for your journey through life.
I appreciated both of your reflections. Prayer is needed now to prepare for end-times.