FOR DIFFICULT TIMES
Profound socio-cultural changes are taking place in our days and religious crisis is shaking Christianity’s roots in the West. This should impel us more than ever to seek in Jesus the light and strength that we need to read and live out these times sanely and responsibly.
The call to realism
There is never a time that Jesus promises to his disciples an easy path to success and glory. On the contrary, he indicates to them that their long history will be full of difficulties and struggles. It is against Jesus’ spirit to cultivate triumphalism or foster nostalgia for greatness. The path before us that seems to be extremely hard is the one that corresponds most to a Church that is faithful to her Lord.
No to naiveté
In times of crisis, uneasiness and confusion, it is not surprising to hear messages and revelations that propose new paths of salvation. To warn us, Jesus gives us these instructions. First, See that you not be deceived: do not fall into the naiveté of giving credit to messages —whether within our outside the Church— that are alien to the Gospel. Consequently, he tells us, Do not follow them. That is to say, do not follow those who separate us from Jesus Christ, the only foundation and origin of our faith.
Be centered on what is essential
Each Christian generation has its own problems, difficulties, quests. We must not lose our calm, but should take up our own responsibility. No one is asking us to do something beyond our power. We count on help from Jesus himself: I myself will you give a wisdom in speaking. Even in a hostile atmosphere of rejection or indifference, we can put the Gospel into practice and live sensibly in a Christian manner.
The hour of witness
Difficult times do not have to be times of wailing, nostalgia or discouragement. It is not time for resignation, acquiescence, passivity or withdrawal. Jesus has another idea: difficult times will lead to your giving testimony. It is precisely now that we need to fan into flame among us the call to be humble yet convincing witnesses of Jesus, of his message, of his project.
Jesus’ exhortation for hard times goes: By your perseverance you will secure your lives. The original word can be translated either as “patience” or “perseverance.” Among us Christians, there is little talk about patience, but we need it more than ever. It is time to cultivate a Christian, patient and tenacious lifestyle that will help us to be responsive to new situations and challenges, without losing either our peace or our sanity.
13 November 2016
33rd Sunday O.T. (C)
Luke 21, 5-19