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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time (YEAR 2013)

Meditation on Today's Scripture:
Jesus prophesied the demolition of their temple at Jerusalem. The Jewish people took great pride in their temple, a marvel of the ancient world. The foretelling of this destruction was a dire warning of spiritual judgment in itself. They asked Jesus for a sign that would indicate when this disastrous occasion would occur. Jesus admonished them to not look for signs that would point to the exact timing of impending destruction, but rather to seek and pray for God's intervention of grace and mercy. Jesus said there would be many signs of impending conflicts and disasters such as wars, famines, diseases, tidal waves, and earthquakes which would precede the struggles of the last days when God's anointed King would return to usher in the full reign of God over the earth. Jesus' prophecy of the demolition of the temple at Jerusalem was a two edged sword, because it pointed not only to God's judgment, but also to his saving action and mercy. Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and the dire consequences for all who would reject him and his saving message. While the destruction of Jerusalem's temple was determined, there remained for its inhabitants a narrow open door leading to deliverance. Jesus said: "I am the door; whoever enters by me will be saved". Jesus willingly set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing that he would meet unfaithfulness, rejection, and death on a cross. His death on the cross, however, brought about true freedom, peace, and victory over the powers of sin, evil, and death not only for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but for all both Jew and Gentile alike who would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus warns his followers that they will be confronted with harassment, wickedness, false teaching, and enticement. The real enemy of the gospel is Satan whom Jesus calls a "murderer" and "father of lies". Only love can defeat prejudice, intolerance, hatred, and envy. God's love purifies our hearts and minds of all that would divide and tear people apart. The truth is also essential for overcoming evil and tribulation in the world. Jesus tells his disciples that if they tolerate to the end they will gain their lives they will see God's deliverance and inherit eternal life and happiness with God. Endurance is more than human effort and perseverance. It is a supranational gift of the Holy Spirit which enables us to bear up under any test, temptation, and form of persecution.
Today's Scripture: Luke 21:5-19 (November 17, 2013)
Prayer ...
Loving Father, thank you for giving us your truth in Scripture. To know that you love us enough to communicate in language so we can hear and read your message is truly awe inspiring to us. Make our heart hunger for your truth revealed in your Word. We want to grow to be a righteous and gracious child in your family. With all our love we pray to you in the name of Infant Jesus. Amen.
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