2016-11-13, 33rd C, New Beginnings

Homily 11-13-16
33rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Mal 3:19-20a; Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9; 2 Thes 3:7-12; Lk 21:5-19

(Scriptures included after homily)

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As we come, just two weeks away, from the end of another Church liturgical year, we’re reminded once again today of the awesome HOPE we have in Jesus; because, as Jesus has shown us with His own life:

. . . every end comes with a new beginning.

resurrection

Now, keep in mind, that ‘new beginnings’ may not always be easy.  And they may not always be wanted.  But they are guaranteed to be inevitable.  From the moment of our conception to the instant of our death, our lives are filled with new beginnings.

And the part of this lifespan of ours, that we can remember, is just a tiny snapshot of the eternal life that we’ve been promised.

If we were to Google the words: “Dow Jones Chart,” we would see a one-day timeline of stock trading values.  It may be trending upward, or it may be trending downward.  And if we were to make investment judgments based on that small, one-day, window view, it could be a major mistake for our finances.

But if we were to open up that view to show the last 5-days, or the last month, the last 5-years, or even as far back as the chart will show us, 40-years, we might see that the upward trend or the scary downward fall that appeared in our one-day view, was barely a glitch in the bigger picture.

We might really be sitting at the bottom of a huge chasm, or at the top of a mighty mountain.

dow-jonesAnd in the same light, one day, 100,000-years from now, when we look back at the short, 10 to 90-years of our earthly lifespan, we might ask, “Oh why was this or that event in our lives such a big deal to us?  If only we knew!  If only we understood what was really important, our whole lives may have been totally different.”

You see, in reality, every moment of our lives is a new beginning.  And it’s our choice – how we allow those moments to affect us:

Do we give up, or do we keep on trying?

Do we frown, or do we smile?

Do we complain, or do we give thanks?

Do we judge others, or do we try to understand them?

Do we bully, or do we encourage?

Do we hate, or do we love?

Today the Prophet Malachi, St. Paul and Jesus are all urging us not to give up, to stay vigilant in our Faith.

Yes, the times may be tough.
But remember, it’s just a glitch in the big picture.

Yes, the earth may quake and blow, it may burn and flood, but WE are the Hope of Jesus to those who suffer from such calamities.

Yes, there may be wars and violence, hatred, prejudice and greed, and even persecution, but WE live in the Hope of Jesus, and we KNOW that all of this is just a tiny glitch in the big picture of eternal life.

And every time we come here, to His Table of Life, we are renewed in the love of Jesus, and we are strengthened by one another, to rejoice and not despair in another day of new beginnings.

jmp 11-13-16

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Scripture Readings for the Mass of 11-13-16
Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, C

First Reading:  Mal 3:19-20a

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts.  But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R.  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.

R.  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell in it; let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy.

R.  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to rule the earth, He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.

R.  The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Second Reading:  2 Thes 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters: You know how one must imitate us.  For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone.

On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right.  Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.

In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.  We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.  Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Gospel:  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.”

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