34th Week in Ord.
Time, Thursday – 26th November 2020 — Gospel: Lk 21,20-28
Time of Joyful Fulfilment
“The Son of Man coming in a cloud” is an
image from the prophet Daniel which Jesus invokes as referring to his own
majestic coming. The Son of Man comes with great power and glory, and he
receives the authority of God’s kingdom. His appearance with cosmic signs
represents the approach of the world’s consummation. While many will tremble
and faint from fear, the disciples of Jesus may stand tall and raise their
hands, for them the redemption is at hand. For the disciples, his coming means
an end to the persecutions and terrors that have been described earlier.
Whereas the Son of Man will come to judge the wicked, his coming means
deliverance for the faithful. It also provides encouragement for the faithful
when the very foundation of life seems to be shaken. Indeed, his coming will be
a time of joyful fulfilment, when all of God’s promises to his people will be
34th Week in Ord.
Time, Wednesday – 25th November 2020 — Gospel: Lk 21,12-19
Cautions and Comforts amidst Hardships
Jesus prepares his followers for the
inevitable suffering, persecution and endurance that is part of the kingdom of
God. Many will be arrested and imprisoned, and some will even be put to death
because of their faith. But this persecution will provide the disciples with
“an opportunity to testify” (21,13), to explain their commitment to Jesus. In
the midst of hardship and persecution, their witness will be aided by the words
and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Just
as God gave Moses and other prophets the capacity to speak and to confront
their opponents (Ex 6,28-7,13; Jer 1,6-10), Jesus himself will provide strength
and wisdom for such testimony (21,15). Using a proverb that not a hair on their
head will perish (21,18; cf. also 1 Sam 14,45; 2 Sam 14,11; 1 Kgs 1,52) Jesus
assures of their divine protection. Ultimately, their experience of persecution
will not end in death but in victory for their souls (21,19). In this way,
Jesus is cautioning and comforting his disciples so that they can expect
similar experiences to his own passion, death and resurrection.