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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Wednesday of the 34th Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

November 28, 2018

Wednesday of the 34th Week in the Ordinary Time

 

Revelation 15:1-4

Psalm 98:1-3, 7-9

Gospel LK 21:12-19


Jesus said to the crowd: "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."

 

Salvific Suffering

 

This is the last week of the liturgical year and the readings reflect the persecutions that the disciples have to undergo at the end of the world. Suffering, hardships and persecutions are inevitable for the disciples of Jesus. In his book Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonheoffer says that when Jesus calls a person he bids him to come and die. Death is the cost of discipleship. We must be always prepared for it if we want to be the disciples of Jesus. Christ foretold the hardships that his followers would suffer long before the end of the world. He told the disciples “If they have persecuted me they will also persecute you.” Persecution is a legacy bequeathed by Christ to his followers. This prophecy of Christ has been fulfilled many times throughout the history of the Church.  There were many persecutions in the early church. Many Christians became martyrs not only in the West but also in Asia in Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Christ assures us that whenever it happens, we will not be abandoned. Jesus will be with us to strengthen us because that is the time we have to give witness to him. He advises that by perseverance we can overcome the opposition that we have to face for the sake of Jesus. If we believe Jesus is with us a prison can be like a palace.  The man who walks with Christ may lose his life but he can never lose his soul.


Christian life is not easy because it involves cross, suffering. Some people tell that those who suffer do so because of their sins. This is very unfortunate. Because suffering for the sake of Jesus is never the result of sin. Christ suffered, carried the cross and nailed to the cross. Does that mean Christ sinned? Does that mean that the Father was punishing Jesus for his sins? We suffer because God wants to share with us His cross. He shares what is dear to him only with his dear friends. St. Theresa of Avila was persecuted by everyone even by the church authorities. She was misunderstood and maligned by her own confreres. She was distressed, suffered dryness in her prayers for so many years. Finally, in prayer, she asked the Lord, “Why do you allow all these trials? Why do you allow all these persecutions to come to me? And the Lord appeared to Teresa of Avila and said, “Teresa, that is how I deal with my friends.” And Teresa responded, “That is why you have few friends.” We are his precious friends. Jesus called us not servants but friends. Therefore, we have to suffer the consequences of our friendship with Jesus.


Someone said, “When it is winter time, the leaves of our trees start to fall. But that is also the time when the roots of our trees sink more deeply into the earth.”When we suffer or persecuted we grow in deeper union with our Master whose mission and destiny we share. Moreover, we need to remember always that cross is not just a symbol of suffering, but is also one of victory. His suffering and death are vindicated by his resurrection. Therefore, our suffering for the sake of Jesus will have meaning. Let us pray that we may realize the meaning and the joy of suffering for the sake of Jesus and have the assurance of the presence of Jesus with us in times of suffering.


Fr. Davis Varayilan CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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