REFLECTION FOR TODAY
November 23, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.” Lk. 21:5-6.
How do we respond to prophetic warning concerning the end of time? Do they cause us to fear, anxiety or hope? A lot of people have wondered if the end of time would occur during their lifetime, especially when disaster occurred.
The prophecy Jesus regarding the temple in our gospel reference above literally came true in 70 A.D., when the Temple was destroyed. After the prophecy of the Temple, Jesus warns the disciples the many many confusions that will come. He said, there will be false prophets, wars and insurrections, powerful earthquakes, famines, plagues, “and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
These prophecies of Jesus were not to scare the people. There were not simply made to satisfy their curiosity but were made to warn them and prepare us so that we do not become misled or terrified when they come. He says, “See that you not be deceived” and “do not be terrified.”
As Christians, we cannot afford to let fear dominate us. It will only result in a listless kind of faith, a faith that is short on expectations. Those who know the love of the father know that He wants all people to be saved. He wants this so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die for us.
Again, as the old saying goes, “Life is not a bowl of cherries.” While we live in this fallen world, chaos, confusion, deception, abuse, scandal, conflict, and the like will be all around us. And when we do come face-to-face with any such difficulty, there is a temptation to fear, anger, and despair. Be it family conflicts, civil unrest or even divisions within the Church itself, God wants us to remain at peace and to trust Him always.
Take Jesus’ own life as an example. He was arrested, falsely accused, sentenced to death, and crucified. And through it all, He remained at peace, knowing that His suffering would become the very source of new life. God can use all things for good for those who love and serve Him.
Reflect, today, upon the undeniable fact that your life will involve difficulty. Sometimes that difficulty is self-imposed because of your sin, and sometimes it is unjustly imposed on account of the sin of another. Truth be told, we should only be concerned about our own sin. If other challenges come your way that are out of your control, then use those challenges as opportunities to trust. Entrust all things to God, every suffering, every persecution, every tragedy, every struggle, everything. If God the Father could bring about the greatest good ever known through the brutal murder of His own divine Son, then He can certainly do the same with all that you offer to Him in trust. Trust always and in all circumstances, and our all-powerful Lord will bring good from everything.
Lord, You warned us of the many hardships that would come our way before Your glorious return. You did so to help prepare us and to strengthen us in those moments of testing. Please give me the grace I need to always trust in You and to surrender over to You every cross I carry. I do believe, dear Lord, that You can bring good from everything, even those things that are most difficult in life. Jesus, I trust in You.