Weekly Liturgy : November 7-13
When the End Comes
(The Message Translation)
5-6 One day people were standing around talking about the Temple, remarking how beautiful it was, the splendor of its stonework and memorial gifts. Jesus said, “All this you’re admiring so much—the time is coming when every stone in that building will end up in a heap of rubble.”
7 They asked him, “Teacher, when is this going to happen? What clue will we get that it’s about to take place?”
8-9 He said, “Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One,’ or, ‘The end is near.’ Don’t fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end.”
10-11 He went on, “Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You’ll think at times that the very sky is falling.
12-15 “But before any of this happens, they’ll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You’ll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I’ll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.
16-19 “You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.
Maybe Jesus had a supernatural ability to know the future. Maybe he just understood humanity so well as to see the inevitable conflicts on the horizon.
Either way, Jesus seems to want his followers to know that hard times are coming, and that the first tactic humans use to arrive at peace in the midst of chaos is violence.
This prediction seems to be confirmed in our world over and over again. Even today!
But don't panic, Jesus says. If you refuse to play the game of returning violence for violence, and keep on practicing the way of peace, you'll provide an out-of-this-world alternative for your friends and family - some of them won't even know how to respond to it!
But it will be just what the world needs in order to be truly saved.
Outward Mindset Application Before making decisions this week, ask: Who will be affected by this decision?Coordinate with those you identify.
Pathways Toward Centeredness Activism (loving the world through confrontation): Vote! If you haven't turned in your ballot yet, do so by Tuesday!
Questions for Reflection Who is one person you often identify as belonging to "the other side?" Consider the needs that person may be seeking to meet through their perspective and behaviors. Have you ever been given grace and compassion from someone you thought was against you? How can you replicate that person's actions in the world this week?