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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 33rd (C) in Ordinary Time

1st 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: 97
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.

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.

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.
2nd Reading (2Thess 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.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 21:28): Alleluia. Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 21,5-19): While some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down».

And they asked him, «Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?». Jesus then said, «Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title and saying: ‘I am he, the Messiah; the time is at hand’. Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, don't be frightened; for all this must happen first, even though the end is not so soon». And Jesus said, «Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen. Before all this happens, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you; you will be delivered to the Jewish courts and put in prison, and for my sake you will be brought before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. So keep this in mind: do not worry in advance about what to answer, for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, and brothers, by relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. But even though you are hated by all for my name's sake, not a hair of your head will perish. Through perseverance you will possess your own selves».

«Take care not to be deceived»

+ Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach (Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel speaks to us of the last coming of the Son of man. The liturgical year is about to end and the Church presents the “parusia” to us, while at the same time the Church wants us to think of our last days: death, judgment, hell or heaven. A journey destination conditions its planning. If you wish to go to hell, you will be able to behave in a given way according to the end point of your trip. If you opt for heaven, instead, you will have to be coherent with the Glory you are trying to attain. Always, freely. Nobody goes to hell by force; or to heaven, either. God is fair, and gives everyone the deserved prize, nothing more nothing less. He does not punish or bestow honors at random, driven by sympathy or dislike. He respects our freedom. We must bear in mind, though, that when leaving this world, we will not be any more free to choose. The tree will remain fallen by the side it came down.

«To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice» (Catechism of the Church n. 1033).

Can you imagine the greatness of the spectacle? Men and women of all races and all times, with our resurrected body and soul, to appear before Jesus Christ, who is presiding over the ceremony with great power and majesty. He will come to judge us in front of everybody else. If getting in would not be for free, it would still be worthwhile... The truth of all actions, whether innermost or outer, will then be known. We shall then find out whom do monies, sons, books, projects and everything else, belong to: «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down» (Lk 21:6). Days of joy and glory for some; days of shame and sadness for others. Whatever you do not want publicly to appear then, you can delete it now through a well-made confession. You cannot improvise such a solemn and compromising act. Jesus already warns us: «Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title» (Lk 21:8). Are you ready now?