November 25, 2008
Tuesday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, increase my knowledge and love of truth. Make me eager to know your teachings so that I can share your word with those who live in darkness.
Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to be confident in speaking to others about the reason for my faith.
1. When He Comes Again
Jesus describes the final trial through which the Church will pass before his second coming. In doing so, he provides us a glimpse of the awesome supernatural power that will be present at that moment. Recent natural disasters give us a sense of the power of nature and the frailty of our lives here on earth. Yet Jesus does not want us to fear. Jesus wants us to be confident in the amazing saving power of God. God gave his only Son for us so that we can live with him forever in heaven. “Jesus Christ is Lord: he possesses all power in heaven and on earth. He is ‘far above all rule and authority and power and dominion,’ for the Father ‘has put all things under his feet’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 668).
2. Credible Witness
Jesus is scheduled to return at the end of time to judge the living and the dead. When he arrives, “the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 682). Jesus doesn’t tell us the exact day and hour of his second coming. That is why it is important that we accept Christ’s powerful transforming grace today and, through our works and words, be credible witnesses of it. We can learn from the example of the Samaritan woman, who received Christ’s transforming grace at the well. She joyfully abandoned her water jar and danced back to the city with a light heart, eager to tell people about her encounter with Christ (cf. John 4): “The abandonment of the water jar, like Bartimaeus’ throwing off his old rag, symbolizes the newness of life that derives everything from Jesus” (Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis, The Way of the Disciple). Like the Samaritan woman, we can be credible witnesses of our new life in Christ by manifesting our soul’s interior change in our exterior actions, so that when Christ comes again, his judgment of us will be: "Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
3. Inside Out
The brilliant, transforming light that Peter, James and John saw at the Transfiguration is the light we will see at Christ’s second coming. Jesus will come in glory as the Son of God and the King of Kings. Until that time, Jesus is sending all of his apostles out to evangelize the world in his name. Christ doesn’t say that it will be easy. He warns his followers not to be deceived by those who will falsely claim to be the Messiah. He tells them that they will encounter persecution, hatred and more. Yet Jesus needs them to go forth to be children of his light, lamps shining in the darkness. “You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Christ wants all of us to be transformed from the inside out, emboldened by his transforming grace so that we can go forth confidently evangelizing in his name.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, thank you for your powerful transforming grace. I want to be a child of light for the world. Grant me the ability to be an eloquent and credible witness of the awesome saving power of God.
Resolution: I will speak to two people today about the reason for my hope and faith.
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