33rd Sunday in ordinary time year C

First reading Malachi 4:1-2a

Psalm 98

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Luke 21:5-19

On the eve of the year 2000, some churches predicted the end of the world. They have asked their faithful to donate all their possessions. But we are in 2022 now and the world has not yet ended. Let us be alert and not to allow the false messengers to distract our minds with the end of the world. Brethren, today is the thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C and the word of God is inviting us to reflect on the theme: “The day of the Lord is coming”.

            Thus in the first reading of today, Malachi summoned his audiences about the day of the Lord. In the prophetic writings, the prophets emphasized the day of the Lord. On the one hand, this day is known as the day of judgment for the wicked and evildoers and the day of blessing for the righteous ones. Prophet Malachi who lived around 515BCE after the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem, reminded his contemporaries and us today that the day of the Lord is coming and that each individual will face God’s judgment. This day will be a moment of suffering for some while for some it will be a moment of joy. In Malachi 3: 2, we are already informed about this day “But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?”

But before that moment, the righteous and the faithful ones will experience great suffering. And this is what Jesus has reminded his disciples in today’s Gospel. The Gospel reading is divided into three sections: section one is talking about “the sign” verses 5-7 whereby Jesus prophesized about the falling and the destruction of Jerusalem temple. The second section began from verse 8 until verse 11. In these four verses, Jesus draws the disciples’ attention to the coming conflicts and the pretenders who will claim themselves as being “Christ”. The third and last section starting from verse 12 up to verse 19 is focused on how the disciples will be persecuted. Dear friends, there will be the end of the world however no one knows when that will be not even the Son of man Matthew 24:36. This should not create panic nor fear in us for as long as us we adore and worship God faithfully and keep his commandments, we shall triumphant.

In the second reading, the apostle Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians to take responsibility in regard to work. Some of the faithful in the community refused to work, they were idling. The word “idle” in Greek has a deeper meaning than the English word; thus it refers to “to be undisciplined” or “to live in a disorderly manner” and is used to describe those who do not fulfill their obligations. Those who were living idle were going against the essence of their faith. It’s in this sense that Paul as a leader of the community commanded them to change immediately.

 Reflecting on the readings, I would like us to keep in mind three things: (1) God pays each and everyone according to his or her deeds, (2) the righteous ones shall experience persecution, and (3) Christians’ duties.    

  1. God will pay each and every one according to his deeds: Dear friends, whatever we have done on this earth, we are responsible for it. On the day of the Lord, each one of us will be held of our actions. God has given us freedom and the opportunity to do whatever we want but we are responsible of our actions. Unlike the judgment of human Beings which is corrupted, the judgment of God is perfect and full of mercy, therefore there is no favoritism nor corruption. Today, prophet Malachi is reminding us about the great day of the Lord; while we are still on earth we can still change our minds and actions from evil to good. May the Spirit of the Lord touch our hearts in order to make a good and right decision.
  2. The righteous ones shall experience persecution: There is an expression in one of the vernaculars of Togo the country where I come from which says “the white porridge comes out from the black pot”. Those who will experience God’s blessing and favor on the day of the Lord have experienced persecution in this present life. Persecution in this context might not be the same as what the apostles and the first Christians had experienced but persecution in diverse forms. Today, Jesus is inviting us to trust and to hope in the Lord for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict; above all men will hate you because of me but not a hair of your head will perish. Brethren, we have received a call of perseverance and endurance, let us, therefore, hold on to God during persecutions.
  3. Christians duties: I know one guy when I was doing pastoral year experience as part of priestly formation in 2018. At the age of 32, he had a master’s degree but was idle throughout the day and he was under his parents’ care; they provided everything. His parents encouraged him in his idleness.  Dear friends, many people think that if they become Christians, the bread will fall from heaven, as in the desert with the Israelites. According to the apocryphal gospels, our Lord Jesus Christ himself worked he did not burden his parents at the age of adolescence. Many Christians today are living in idleness, they are always in the church compound praying the whole day living behind their works, businesses, and so forth. Let us remember this famous quote from “Ora et Labor”

May God help us to be faithful to him despite what we are experiencing and may we be men and women of good reputation in our societies by taking our responsibilities seriously, amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: