Perseverance in seeking the Kingdom
Jesus is the sublime example of the person who attains salvation through perseverance in fostering the kingdom of God.
Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides.” But he does not only preach; he also practices what he preaches. His life and works show his perseverance in fostering what matters most that God wants.
In the first place, at his baptism, he insists that he and John comply fully with the Father’s will. And doing thus what God wants, Jesus inserts himself into the group of the poor.
In the second place, Jesus resists the devil. The devil wants nothing more than to prevent him from carrying out fully his mission. But Jesus rejects the enticing idea of a magician messiah. He also refuses to be a presumptuous messiah who boasts of divine protection even in his childish games.
In the third place, Jesus resoundingly affirms that he worships God alone and trusts fully in him only. He does not put his trust in power or money. Exceedingly fleeting, power and money are not reliable. If they come from injustice and greed, they carry within them the seed of destruction.
The same God whom Jesus serves has entrusted to him the mission of evangelization.
The mission of God’s Anointed is to announce the Good News. And since it is the poor that he addresses, all the more reason he has to renounce power and wealth. He considers himself the lowly Messiah, the Lord’s Suffering Servant.
Indeed, Jesus counts himself among the poor. He proclaims them blessed, because the kingdom of God is theirs. Moreover, God reveals the mysteries of his kingdom to such people of simplicity and perseverance.
And poorer and more insecure than foxes and birds, Jesus goes around to towns and villages to carry out his mission. He teaches, proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom and cures every disease and illness. With perseverance, he goes about doing good and denouncing both apathy and greed.
In the fourth place, Jesus’ perseverance in his hard work for the Gospel stands out until the end. He does not surrender to the Deceiver whom mockers represent. He pays no attention to those who tell him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Instead, he perfects his sacrifice, crying out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
So then, Jesus does not panic in the midst of trials and tribulations. Even in darkness, the sun of justice and healing shines upon him. He thus gives witness.
Lord, give us the grace of perseverance until death (SV.EN IX:284).
13 November 2016
33rd Sunday O.T. (C)
Mal 3, 19-20a; 2 Thes 3, 7-12; Lk 21, 5-19