• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 15 November 2019 16:35

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 21, 5-19

 

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestDuring this time of the year, when we are nearing the end of the Liturgical Calendar, our readings are about the “end-times”. And especially when we hear about natural and man-made calamities happening around the world left and right.

In the gospel for today, the disciples of Jesus were admiring the beauty of the temple in Jerusalem. In Judaism, the temple in Jerusalem was the centre point of their religion. For the Jews, while they could listen to the Word of God in their synagogues, there was only one place where they could offer sacrifices, and that was the temple in Jerusalem. Ever since the first temple was built by King Solomon, the temple has been sacked and razed to the ground a number of times, and every time, the Jews rebuilt the temple to be more magnificent than the last one. And this last temple was rebuilt by Herod the Great and being a great builder, he made sure that this temple would be the most beautiful thing in the world.

Sadly, we don’t have any pictures or accurate depictions of the temple but historical descriptions about it paint a picture of magnificence. A number of people have described it as being so big and beautiful that anybody seeing would become partly blinded because it would gleam whenever the building was hit by sunlight. Also it was the tallest building in Jerusalem so everybody going to Jerusalem couldn’t miss it.

So the disciples would have been shocked when Jesus predicted that one day the temple would be destroyed, that not a stone would lay on top of the other. And it did come true, for on the 9th of August Year 70, because of the Jewish insurrection against the Roman Empire, the emperor Titus ordered the Roman soldiers to sack and raze the temple. And the only part of that temple that was left is the Western Wall, more popularly known as the Wailing Wall.

So if you compare this tragedy in our world today, it would be comparing it to an attack and destroying magnificent landmarks in the world today like the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the Houses of Parliament in London, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, the Statue of Liberty of the United States and others. It would be a natural reaction that if these magnificent man-made structures fell down, we might think that the world was coming to an end.

Another part of Jesus’ prediction was that the end would be accompanied by other “end-time calamities” like wars, famine, earthquakes, and signs from heaven. And most probably Jesus was saying this “tongue in cheek”. Why? I have a friend of mine who asked me about all these calamities that are happening in our world today. He says that these events might be a sign that the “end” is near. I answered him that it is not yet really but it could happen anytime. Then he asked why these days it seems that these calamities are at on the increase. Well, I explained that first there was never really a time that the world was not experiencing any kind of war, earthquake, famine, drought and recently typhoons. Secondly, if you think that it is increasing it is because the level of communication nowadays has increased tremendously compared with decades ago. So anything significant that is happening in any part of the world is now reported.

But the gospel is not about when is the end of the world, it is all about perseverance of faith. All our lives as Christians, our faith is tested through persecutions from outside and temptations from inside. What Jesus is promising is that he will remain with us for all time through the Holy Spirit and what we need to do is to persevere and be faithful. As St Teresa of Calcutta says, “What is important is not whether we are successful but whether we are faithful”.