THIRTY THIRD SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
13th November 2022.
Malachi 3:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19.
Today’s readings are about the end time, because we have approached the end of the liturgical year. Next Sunday is the feast of Christ the king, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. The terrible predictions made by Jesus in the gospel are not to scare us. They are the possible realities consequent upon the underlying principles of our world. These terrible scenarios predicted by Jesus are the aftermaths of the victimization that characterize our present world. Victimization is the sacrificial mechanism of scapegoating by blaming. The present world is tired of responsibility. One the one hand, blaming brings relative peace; and on the other hand, it leads to self-destruction. Victimization is responsible for the chaos of our present world. The readings remind us of what needs to change in our world as we approach the end of the liturgical year.
The unnamed crowd of today’s gospel admired the beauty of the temple but could understand why it will be destroyed. They were more interested in finding out when the temple which is held in high esteem will be destroyed, rather than why will the temple be destroyed. Their question: ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’ – betrays a people looking for a scapegoat to blame for the destruction of the temple. The emphasis should not be on ‘when’ and the ‘signs’, rather it should be ‘why’ and ‘possible remedy’. The gospel mandate is to build and reconcile people into a community of love and not to self-destruction.
The solution to the self-destructive mechanism responsible for chaos in our present world is the ‘imitation of Christ’. St. Paul suggested the same to the Thessalonians when he told them to imitate him. Imitation of Christ is based on the sacrificial love of the cross. It is ‘non-violent’, non-retaliation, forgiveness and reconciliation. Our friends will hate and abandon us for imitating the example of Christ on the cross. But the means will justify the end. True peace will reign around those who stand firm in faith.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.