Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Rosalino Reyes Dizon)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year CLeave a Comment

Author: Rosalino Reyes Dizon · Year of first publication: 2013.

A native of the Philippines, Ross Reyes Dizon lives with his wife, Melody, in Vallejo, California. They are the parents of two grown-up sons, Vincent and Justin, and grandparents of 19-month old Maximilian Frédéric. Ross has been posting Sunday readings reflections to various Vincentian web sites, including this site.

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Rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor (Acts 5, 41)

The vision of what is to come upon us relative to the end is alarming.  But we are urged not to be frightened.  Let it lead to our giving testimony.

Jesus warns beforehand about the signs of the end so we may not be deceived.  He wants us to be ready for the worst without losing sight of the best that may arise.  He is not among the opportunists who play on our fears to promote their own good, their advancement.

Jesus is nothing like those locked up in their own interests; he looks out for others’ interests.  He goes about doing good:  he heals the sick and brings the good news to the poor.  He procures our salvation at the cost of his own life even.  He is exalted by putting the exaltation of others ahead of his own.

Jesus’ disinterested love inspires hope in those excluded by society and forgotten by the religious institution.  They trust him.  They are so encouraged by his example and his words that they dare follow him on the painful and countercultural path.  They guard against all greed and care about others in need (like those devastated by Haiyan to whom this mega-typhoon seemed perhaps to be a sign of the end).  They no longer let themselves be distracted by any fleeting structure of power or magnificence.  There is, among them, no more tyranny that characterizes pagan sovereigns; service replaces it.  They find no pleasure in either taking advantage of others’ generosity, or doing nothing and minding others’ business.

The disciples, established in Christ’s love, are not afraid either of trials and tribulations.  The more they remain in Jesus, the more they experience that they have the strength for everything in him who empowers them, that their weakness means strength and that they receive from him irrefutable words and wisdom.  They have it as certain that everything works for good for those who love God, so that what is fatal to the proud and evil doers becomes enlightening and healing to them.  Hence, they take times of privations, constraints, beatings and imprisonments to be favorable.  Their endurance proves them true followers and witnesses of Jesus.

Yes, the disciples, poor and long-suffering, are securing their lives by their perseverance and patience.  They give witness to the true religion.  For, as St. Vincent de Paul says, “It is among them … that living faith is preserved; they believe simply, without delving into things; they submit to orders, are patient in their extreme misery that they have to suffer as long as it pleases God, some because of wars, others because of working all day long in the intense heat of the sun … ” (Coste XI, 201).

And they are a Eucharistic people, grateful that they always are and courageously willing to give everything for the good of others, imitating their Master.

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