Tuesday November 28, 2023

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

“We are called by God to be real heroes — Jesus in the flesh right now, today.”

Good News Reflection for:

Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time
November 28, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, because You gave me Your Holy Spirit. Give me through Him the grace of discerning the signs You give me along the journey. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Daniel 2:31-45
Daniel 3:57-61
Luke 21:5-11
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

Living in the here and now

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus and the disciples discuss the Final Judgment Day. To the world, this will look like the ultimate disaster. But if we refuse to belong to the world, because we belong to the kingdom of God, for us Judgment Day will mean hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You are now totally free from evil!”

Belonging to God’s kingdom is counter-cultural — and it’s become even more obviously so in today’s world. To escape the Final Judgment, we have to believe in Jesus and what he taught, but we have to also follow him and do what he taught. This requires ridding ourselves of every worldly behavior that is not Christ-like. Moral relativism is one example. Christ taught moral absolutes, but the world wants us to accept the idea that everyone can safely make up their own minds about what is sinful and what is not.

The end of the world fascinates us. Hollywood movies about it are box office hits. Christian novels about it are top sellers. The predictions of Nostradamus are more popular than ever, and psychics who talk about it attract large followings. Natural disasters are declared as chastisements against sinners by Christians who are looking for signs that Jesus is coming to rescue us from these sinners.

Why all this fascination with the end of the world? It’s because we want Jesus (if not aliens or superheroes) to rescue us from evil. However, we are called by God to be real heroes — Jesus in the flesh right now, today. Bold and courageous Christians who are more interested in being unlike the world than in seeing the end of the world, for this is how we put an end to evil now.

We should be more interested in what we can do for Christ in the present than in what he can do for us in the future.

Rather than telling others they will be punished in the impending doom, we should be spreading Christ’s love so much here and now that we lay strong foundations for a better future.

When the disciples asked for clues about the timing of the disaster that Jesus described, he warned them to be careful lest they fall prey to deceptions. He knew that focusing on the future can easily causes misinterpretations and mistaken predictions.

Jesus wasn’t being a soothsayer when he warned that the holy temple would get torn down. He was talking about the here and now of his interaction with the disciples: The Messiah had come and therefore the stone temple was no longer needed.

His words also apply to our own here and now: Our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, will die and decay, but our Messiah has come. Living in him and through him today will secure our future in the kingdom of God, even if the Second Coming of Christ does not occur in our lifetimes.

In the meantime, when plagues of hardships infect our lives, or when famines make us hungry for whatever we lack, or when earthquakes like the loss of a job or the death of a loved one shakes up our world, we’re comforted by remembering that this is normal for this world and we do not belong to this world. We take action to make the world a better place, but we do not live in fear nor do we wait for Jesus to do the work without us.

Even when it seems like our problems will bring a permanent end to what had been good for us, the fearsome omens should not dismay us. Our Messiah is with us! So keep your eyes on Jesus, here and now.

To help you reflect on this topic, meditate with our video, “The Power to Overcome Darkness in the World” @ https://gnm-media.org/power-overcome-darkness-world/.

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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