God Is Making Something New

Gospel Reflection

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

God Is Making Something New

The Temple stood for many centuries in all of its splendor.  One could be proud of it and it gave the impression of being indestructible.  Just as our Jewish brothers and
sisters were proud of it in those days, we are proud of our Cathedrals.  The cultural power of Christianity impresses us in these monuments of faith.  Yet, Jesus prunes away every loyalty that is too external.  The Temple would perish.  Even Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome could perish someday. 

In our gospel, Jesus speaks of false prophets, destruction, suffering and persecution in the end times.  An apocalyptic, end-of-the-world feeling?  This is not Jesus’
attitude.  We cannot be careless, but we cannot get into a panic about the end of the world either. 

The news outlets seem to know what preoccupies people and what people find interesting.  It seems that whenever we watch the news, we hear a great deal about politics, war and unrest, and the economy.  These seem to be the big three in our time. 

In Jesus’ time, the big three were religion, politics, and nature.  The Temple was a magnificent structure which the disciples could only gaze up at with great awe,
recognizing it as the center of Jewish spirituality.  The lordship of Caesar, the Roman king, and the struggles of other people groups in relating to the oppressive king were also on the forefront of the minds of many.  Other philosophers focused on the absolute quality of nature itself.  They focused on the earth, sky, sea, stars, and sun as the only fundamental and unchanging realities. 

But the resurrection of Jesus has shook and rearranged the thinking in all of these areas.  The only thing that is truly enduring, absolute, and central around which
everything else revolves, is the resurrection.  The apocalyptic way in which Jesus speaks in Luke’s gospel “unveils” this truth for us.

So what are we to do?  What are we to do when we hear of many calamities politically and economically, both here and abroad?  We are a people of the resurrection.  Work quietly to build up the Church, the mystical body of Christ, the sign of Christ here on Earth, of which you are a member.  Work quietly to understand Catholic social teaching, not in an excessively preoccupied way, but as a responsible citizen.  Work to spread the ultimate news, the only news that is foundational and absolute – the resurrection.  Do it by making your offering of what you have been given.  Do it in gratitude, not fear, as we approach Thanksgiving, the day of gratitude.  God bless you!

Father Tony