Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, Jesus said, ‘All these things you are staring at now-the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed’. And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’
‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand”. Refuse to join them. And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
‘But before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.
The Gospel of the Lord
Donal Neary SJ
Church Reflections, Year C
The Feet of the Sun
The imagery of the readings is frightening and cannot be easily understood. Maybe one aspect is of the contrasts we live with
terror and violence among ourselves and the Earth, and also the healing and gentle power of God. The sun of justice will shine with healing in its rays’. When we see the terrors of the globe, it is a sign that God’s power is also in our midst: ‘do not be frightened’, we are told.
If you look at the sun in the evening, you often see the rays of light hitting the Earth. In Irish they are called ‘cosa na greinne’ or the feet of the sun. We can think of them as God’s feet walking along our scorched and wounded earth: through the poverty and the illness of his world, through fields full of landmines and unexploded bombs, the rays of light take their pilgrimage from heaven through our world, which needs the light of God so badly.
Even in persecution the presence of God is near. Even in betrayal and in the conflicts that arise over the word of God and how to live the gospel, God is near. He never abandons his people. We can almost sum up the message of the prophets as ‘God does not abandon us’.
In years when the Church throughout the world was stripped of almost all except its relationship with Jesus, we know that despite the faults, sins and weaknesses and the huge need for renewal, God is near in the word of Jesus Christ. It is in listening to his word and interpreting it together for today that we will find our true way forward as his community.
Lord Jesus, may your kingdom come
and your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.