33rd Sunday Reflection Year C
“To be near God is my happiness, to place my hope in God the Lord.”
These are the words we pray in today’s Communion antiphon as we celebrate the penultimate Sunday of Ordinary Time: To be near God is my happiness, to place my hope in Him!
They are timely words which the Church prays today as the Sunday liturgy reminds us that the world has an end. It is not eternal. To place one’s hopes in what is material and transient would only lead to disappointment and sadness for man was made for eternity to live in loving communion with God.
- In the 1st reading, Malachias (3: 19-20a) reveals the future intervention of Our Lord in favor of His people. At the end, justice will prevail: condemnation for the unjust and those who lived for themselves and for the world; and salvation for the just, for all those who lived for God, in spite of the many errors they had.
- “Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.”
- At the same time, Jesus announces the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the time preceded by wars, calamities, persecutions, and advises us that while we await for His Second Coming, we should remain firm and persevering.
- “You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
- This leads us to make good use of our time here on earth, working for our salvation through our ordinary life lived for God, day in and day out, offering all the tiredness and difficulties which these things entail, as Paul reminds us in the 2nd reading.
Dear brethren in Christ, let us live our lives for God, putting our hope and happiness in Him and not on any other thing in this world. Let us not forget that the time we have here on earth is a golden opportunity which we should not waste, but rather employ it to gain eternity with God’s grace and our correspondence.
Problems and difficulties we shall encounter in living faithfully our Christian life, but as long as we entrust ourselves to God, stand up and begin again, making use of the means Our Lord has given us, prayer, sacraments, interior struggle and sacrifices, till the end of our life, we shall one day meet Him face to face and our joy will be full.
“Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good.”
Mother Mary, Gate of Heaven, pray for us your children so that we may persevere in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, till the end of our life!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, Catholics striving for Holiness.
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: Raphael Sanzio, Madonna with a Rose in http://www.catholictradition.org/Galleries/gallery2-5.jpg