Scripture Reflection - November 17, 2019

33rd Sunday Ordinary Time C

Malachi 3:19-20a; Psalm 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Luke 21:5-19 20:1-9

“For I myself will give you a wisdom…”


We have arrived at the last Sunday in Ordinary Time… and are struck by the serious tone in today’s readings, and in particular, the Gospel. We feel the pain experienced by the Jewish people in the falling of the temple, and are troubled by the litany of events that Jesus predicts, especially since similar ones are a reality in our own time. Given this “picture” by Luke, we may be tempted to focus in on darkness, yet out of the rubble, destruction and violence rises hope.


Yes, the great “tower” that was the temple was reduced to “nothingness,” but in its place is the tower of strength that is dependency on God. Jesus tells us not to be afraid or terrified; he didn’t tell us that the journey would be easy.


Every day we are bombarded by promises of easy fixes to life’s challenges, yet these are often based on “superficial” towers that will not withstand the test of time. Jesus says, see that you are not deceived, for many will come in my name. In contrast to a fix, Jesus offers us himself, his wisdom as a tower of perseverance and strength. But it is not for us alone. He gives us that wisdom to use in “speaking,” that all our adversaries will be powerless…


Accepting Jesus’ call to discipleship means a dependency on the wisdom of Jesus as we persevere, working in solidarity with and advocating for those who experience powerlessness. As Jesus modeled, we are called to be bearers of hope, regardless of personal cost as we challenge the adversaries of our time. Do not be afraid, “You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.”


Sister BarbaraAnn Sgro, OP

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