Rev 18,1-2.21-23; 19,1-3.9 / Lk 21,20-28
Jesus said to his disciples, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must see to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled.
“Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem
will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
IN OTHER WORDS
In high school I had a teacher who gave surprise quizzes and unannounced oral and written tests. This challenged me to be prepared at all times. Later in life, I realized the value of preparedness for much more important things than getting good grades: as a teacher, readiness for daily lessons; as a religious-missionary Sister, readiness for omitted service; most of all, readiness to answer
God’s final call for me in death which can come at any time. In today’s Good News, there is the all-important call to readiness for the Second Coming of Our
Lord. Because we do not know the specific schedule of this great event, we are greatly challenged to be prepared at all times to welcome Christ. Mt. 24:31-48 makes Christ’s judgment for everyone – love shown in works of mercy for others – as the basis for our preparation.
The prediction of the terrible happenings before the Second Coming is not meant to create fear in us, but to call to a better awareness of the need to turn away from sin, unfaithfulness, selfishness, greed and pride, to be able to live a life of faith and active love of God and for one another. All who are faithful to God have really nothing to fear, for Christ has promised to be with us until the end of time. Christ inspires us to have hope and expectant joy (Lk. 21:28): “But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” His Coming will be the ultimate triumph of good over evil and the beginning of perfect life without suffering, pain and sorrow – the eternal life of love, joy and peace with and in God. The Good News for today inspires me to humbly pray: “Lord Jesus, I long for your coming. As I wait with great longing, I humbly beg you to give me the grace to be truly ready to welcome you by living a life of faith and love, faithfully striving to be what our Loving Father wants me to be and do willingly what He wants me to do. Please, grant this grace also to others. Amen”
- Sister Mary Pauline J. Tamayo, SSpS | School of the Holy Spirit, BF Homes, QC
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.