Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 13, 2016
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 159

A Reading for the Gospel according to Luke
Lk 21:5-19
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.

“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.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
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.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, we experience Jesus telling us that regardless of the situation that surrounds us, we must persevere in following Him. Francis de Sales speaks similarly:

Will there exist a society, a religion, an institution, or manner of living so secure that it is exempt from evil? Since this danger affects all, it is perilous to live in a world with those who do evil. In confronting evil, we must distinguish between actual events and imaginary fears. While God does not give strength for an imaginary conflict, God will certainly give us strength when the need arises. Many of God’s servants were frightened and almost lost courage in the face of imaginary danger. Yet, when the actual danger came they conducted themselves with courage.

If left to our own imaginary fears, we would perhaps lose courage and do nothing at all to overcome evil. Alas, we must work. Our Lord desires combatants and conquerors of evil. If we feel we lack courage, let us cry out in a voice full of confidence, “Lord, save me!” If we have good desires to serve God, but not sufficient strength to put them into practice, let us offer them to God, who will make us capable of accomplishing them. God will renew our desires as often as is necessary to make us persevere. It is enough that we have a desire to fight valiantly with perfect confidence for the Spirit will help us.

So long as we persevere in doing God’s will, God will make us victorious in perilous times. Let us lay our good will before Our Lord, who will renew it so that we may have enough courage for our whole mortal life. Little children feel secure when they are in their mother’s arms. They feel that nothing can harm them provided they are holding her hand. Although times of conflict may frighten us, we too must hold the hand of our “God Almighty,” who protects us and makes us secure.

(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)