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Bear witness to Jesus in words, actions

Based on the readings: Mal 3:19-20a; 2 Thes 3:7-12; Lk 21:5-19
One week away from the Feast of Christ the King and the end of the church year, the readings continue to speak of the world’s end and to challenge us not to abandon our daily efforts to live the Gospel.

“Be not afraid,” the song tells us. In the Gospels, Jesus often told his followers not to be afraid whenever they became frightened or fearful of something.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus talks about the temple being destroyed and the eventual destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus also talks about many frightening things happening – buildings being destroyed, wars starting, earthquakes erupting, and people suffering from starvation, sickness and pain.

Jesus was talking about the end of the world when he will come back in power and majesty. When the people asked him when this would happen, Jesus didn’t give an exact date or time but said, “Do not be afraid. Before all this happens, many will suffer because they are my followers. I will give them courage, strength and wisdom; they will be rewarded for their faith and goodness by my Heavenly Father.”

This Gospel emphasizes Jesus will give us the wisdom we need to follow him.

Through our baptism and confirmation we were consecrated and called to carry on Jesus’ mission and ministry. As Catholics, we are to respond with the words, wisdom and love of Jesus to everything happening around us, good and bad.

We are to bear witness to Jesus in our words and actions – loving others, forgiving others, caring, helping and healing others and patiently accepting our own sufferings and crosses. Jesus says, “By your perseverance, you will save your lives.”

Jesus never said as his followers we’d be free from suffering and frightful happenings. But Jesus promises, no matter what, he will always be with us to help us deal with our problems, struggles and difficulties with hope and courage. He wants us to live in peace and trust until he comes again.

At Mass, in the prayer following the Our Father, the priest prays, “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”