November 28, 2008
Friday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Luke 21: 29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."
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, increase my faith in your word, so I can evangelize the world.
1. Centered on Christ
Jesus doesn’t tell us the exact date and time of his second coming, but he assures us that when we see the signs, we will know the time is near. He wants us to be watching and waiting in joyful hope for his return. Our gaze needs to be focused on Jesus so that we will be ready for his arrival at the end of time. We can prepare our hearts by spending time in prayer, attending Mass, reading Holy Scripture and by doing God’s will each day.
2. The Fruit of Acceptance
Jesus wants all mankind to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He strongly desires that we spend eternity with him. We can anticipate that time, and be numbered among Jesus’ flock while still on earth, if we hear and accept the words of our Lord. “One must first accept Jesus’ word: The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear it with faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received the kingdom. Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 543). Accepting Jesus as our personal Savior, and knowing and believing the teachings of Scripture and the Church, will cause our faith to sprout and grow until the harvest of Jesus’ second coming.
Christ is hoping for a bountiful harvest when he comes again. The springtime of the New Evangelization, which was proclaimed by Pope John Paul II, stirred many souls to embrace Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. During his life, Pope John Paul II edified the world by his example. His encyclicals and books helped enlighten many minds. World Youth Day and other evangelization efforts of the Church have scattered seeds of faith to the ends of the earth. The ongoing results of this springtime of evangelization are evident in the growth of the Church and the blossoming of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Jesus Christ has shown that if we will scatter seeds of faith, he will nurture each seed from planting until harvest.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, Eternal Shepherd, let me always be prepared to meet you. You are my Savior and Redeemer. Let me grow in faith and knowledge so that I can spread seeds of faith every day. I pray the harvest will be bountiful when you come again.
Resolution: I will read and meditate on a passage of Scripture today.
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