Saturday of Week 34 of Ordinary time – Gospel

Commentary on Luke 21:34-36

Our final reading from Luke (and this Church year) continues the messages of warning that he has been giving during the week. The warning is not to become immersed in a life of self-centred indulgence and hedonism, nor to be overcome by many worries and anxieties. It is these two things which can dominate the lives of so many: a combination of escapism from what is difficult, and a running to activities where happiness is confused with pleasure.

The “great day” is going to close in like a trap – quickly and without previous warning. “The day I speak of will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth.” Of course, for every single one of us, that “great day” in practice is the day on which we will be called individually to face our Lord and Creator.

One might ask, what do we do while we are waiting for the rest of the world to join us? Perhaps we should remember that ‘on the other side’ it is an eternal Now, with no past or future. It is like going to the hub of a wheel from any part of the rim. All converge together in the same place.

So we are warned to be permanently on the watch. To pray constantly for strength to avoid what is bad for us and that we may be able to stand secure when we come face to face with the Son of Man. In some ways, the demands are very simple, although we find them difficult at times – showing our fidelity to God by a loving concern for the well-being of every other person, but especially those most in need. “As often as you did it to the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to ME.”

Whatever the circumstances of our life we look forward in confidence to the ultimate victory of God, of Jesus and of the Kingdom. As has been said here more than once, the best preparation for that unpredictable moment of leaving this world is to live as fully as we can in the presence of our always-present God. Let us seek him, find him and respond to him in every single person and in every single experience of our daily lives.

O Lord, grant that all my thoughts, intentions, actions and responses may directed solely to your love and service this day and every day. Amen

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