New book from Fr. Rudy.
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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 18, 2007 Year: C
Mal 4:1-2; 2 Thes 3:7-12; Lk 21:5-19
Endurance will gain you eternal life
"The Lord says this: 'See, the day is
coming, burning like an oven,when all the arrogant and
all evildoers will be stubble;the day that comes shall
burn them up,' says the Lord of hosts, 'so that it will
leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who
revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with
healing in its wings.'" [Mal. 4:1-2]
'Brothers and sisters, you yourselves
know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when
we were with you, and we did not eat anyone's bread
without paying for it; but with toil and labour we
worked night and day,so that we might not burden any of
you. This was not because we do not have that right, but
in order to give you an example to imitate. For even
when we were with you, we gave you this command: 'Anyone
unwilling to work should not eat.' For we hear that some
of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not
doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort
in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to
earn their own living." [2 Thess. 3:7-12]
"When some were speaking about the
temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and
gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, 'As for these things
that you see, the days will come when not one stone will
be left upon another; all will be thrown down.'
They asked him, 'Teacher, when will this be, and what
will be the sign that this is about to take place?' And
Jesus said, Beware that you are not led astray; for many
will come in my name and say, 'I am he!' and, 'The time
is near! Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and
insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things
must take place first, but the end will not follow
Then Jesus said to them, 'Nation will
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there
will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines
and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and
great signs from heaven. But before all this occurs,
they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand
you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be
brought before kings and governors because of my name.
This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up
your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I
will give you words and a wisdom that none of your
opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
You will be betrayed even by parents, by
brothers and sisters, and by 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 of your head will
perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.'" [Lk.
There were once 2 brothers who lived on the 80th level.
On coming home one day, they realized to their dismay
that the lifts were not working and that they have to
climb the stairs home.
After struggling to the 20th level,
panting and tired, they decided to abandon their bags
and come back for them the next day. They left their
bags then and climbed on. When they have struggled to
the 40th level, the younger brother started to grumble
and both of them began to quarrel. They continued to
climb the flights of steps, quarreling all the way to
the 60th floor.
They then realized that they have only 20
levels more to climb and decided to stop quarreling and
continue climbing in peace. They silently climbed on and
reached their home at long last. Each stood calmly
before the door and waited for the other to open the
And they realized that the key was in their bags which
was left on the 20th floor
This story is reflecting on our
life...many of us live under the expectations of our
parents, teachers and friends when young. We seldom get
to do the things that we really like and love and are
under so much pressure and stress so that by the age of
20, we get tired and decided to dump this load.
Being free of the stress and pressure, we
work enthusiastically and dream ambitious wishes.
But by the time we reach 40 years old, we
start to lose our vision and dreams. We began to feel
unsatisfied and start to complain and criticize. We live
life as a misery as we are never satisfied. Reaching 60,
we realize that we have little left for complaining
anymore, and we began to walk the final episode in peace
We think that there is nothing left to
disappoint us, only to realize that we could not rest in
peace because we have an unfulfilled dream... a dream we
abandoned 60 years ago.
So what is your dream?
Follow your dreams, so that you will not
live with regrets.
question of whether Jesus actually used the apocalyptic
rhetoric attributed to him in today’s gospel is still
debated. Some think that he did not, that he was more
concerned with God’s love for us than he was with the
destruction of the temple or signs in the heaven. They
argue that the rhetorical style of signs and wonders in
the heavens was part of the culture of the time (and not
just among the Jews) and that it meant indeed the end of
the old creation but the beginning of a new creation.
However, it is not impossible to believe that Jesus used
this mode of speaking to indicate that with his message
of God’s love a new creation had begun.
near the end of the liturgical year, the readings of the
Mass take on a decidedly apocalyptic tone. Time and
time again, we hear about the end times and the four
last things - death, judgment, heaven and hell. In this
month of November, dedicated to the memory of all the
souls of the faithful departed, we take time to pray
especially for the souls in purgatory. We also take
time to take advantage of the spiritual treasury that
the Church offers, especially the custom of gaining
indulgences for the souls in purgatory. By way of this
homily, I would like to explain what we believe
purgatory is, why it exists and why people go there.
then, I will explain what indulgences are and how they
can assist the dead and each of us.
According to the Catechism, purgatory is "a state of
final purification after death and before entrance into
heaven for those who died in God's friendship, but were
only imperfectly purified. . ." It is, "a final
cleansing of human imperfection before one is able to
enter the joy of heaven." Part of where we derive this
teaching is from the Book of Maccabees, in the Old
Testament. After a battle, Judas Maccabeus, one of the
greatest war heroes of the Jewish people, "sent twelve
thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice
to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well
and religiously concerning the Resurrection. . . It is
therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the
dead." We find this in
2 Macc 12:43-46. One might ask, "If the dead are in
heaven, then why pray for them? They should pray for
us. And if the dead are in hell, then our prayers do
them no good." So, it stands to reason that there must
be a third place where people who die may go that is
neither heaven or hell. We call that place purgatory.
further examination of purgatory reveals that its
existence is another vestige of God's mercy. In a
system of strict justice, only heaven and hell would
exist. Only the perfect would enter heaven; the rest
would be condemned to hell. Purgatory means that God
still gives us time after death to be purified of our
sins, to make atonement for what we have done and to
detach from the sins we have committed.
those events came to pass, just as Jesus foretold.
Before the Temple was torn down so that not one stone
rested upon another the early believers were indeed
persecuted, abused and tortured and executed horribly.
They were indeed hated by family, friend and stranger
alike, all for professing faith in God’s love and
redeeming action. Seems incredible, doesn’t it, that so
many would be treated so horribly for proclaiming love
and healing and reconciliation and acceptance and peace?
nothing’s changed, really, has it? People are still
being treated horribly for proclaiming healing and
reconciliation in the name of Christ. You’d think that
the words Jesus spoke to the tour group were applicable
understood that what Jesus had to say applied today as
well, and manages to convey in his gospel how the words
of Jesus to a specific group of people about events that
would occur before the destruction of the Temple had a
broader context, a broader significance. Even as he
dealt with the reality of the destruction of the Temple,
Luke understood that the warnings and cautions from
Jesus needed to be heard by the people of faith, but
perhaps even more importantly the message of hope needed
to be heard as well.
we hear these words, and we too understand that the
message from Jesus is broader than it first seems. Yes,
he outlines in the briefest of summary the kinds of
events that will occur, but we need also to hear his
words of courage and hope and meaning. “When you hear of
[these things] do not be terrified, he soothes us – they
must take place first. These things are ‘normal’, and to
be expected, we might paraphrase. Big, cosmic stuff will
happen. “But before all this occurs”, he cautions us,
more personal stuff will happen, and you and your faith
will be challenged to limits you never expected nor
dreamed of. “Have courage and hope”, the one who endured
the cross and death itself in perfect faith assures us.
“Not a hair of your head will perish”, the one who
conquered even death declared to the tour group, and
declares still to us. Yes, sticks and stones and other
break our bones, but the love for us and the
relationship with God to which we are called, and in
which with Christ’s help we will remain strong, is
something that cannot wither nor perish nor be destroyed
in any way. Jesus, the one standing in front of the
Temple offering warning and hope to that ancient tour
group, has become the risen Christ, whose endurance
brought victory over even death.
is not the word of some scare-monger proclaiming doom
and gloom and destruction in his name, this is the word
of God, proclaimed by the Son of God, and echoed in
faithful endurance over the centuries that we might now
hear it, and in turn proclaim it to untold generations
living in the time called “before all this”. It is our
turn to hear these words of caution, these words of
meaning and hope, these words of challenge and call.
It’s easy when times are easy to
stones upon stones –it is more difficult when times are
challenging to proclaim faith and meaning and hope and
certainty, but that is exactly what we are being
challenged and called to do here. No matter what comes
our way, no matter what disasters and catastrophes we
might have to face, we are assured by the one who
endured all things on our behalf that “By your endurance
you will gain your souls.”
be to Jesus Christ, who not only assures us that there
is meaning and life with God, but willingly gave of
himself to seal that assurance, and sent to us the Holy
Spirit to sustain us in endurance until the day we join
him in paradise to offer praise and thanksgiving and
odd things will happen. There will not be any respect
and love for one another. But those who love God, he
will take care of them.
Do not worry if someone leaves the church or faith. That
is bound to happen. You follow your hearts conviction;
Do not worry if someone leaves you and
goes away. That also is normal in the last days of your
life. Your life yours, and does not depend on what the
other does or does not do.
Do not worry when you are poor or
hopeless, there is someone who takes care of everything.
You need to keep opening new avenues in life.
Do not just day dream, get to work.
Appreciating the past is fine, but that is not the only
thing in life. You can do a lot more, if you are willing
to plunge into life that is lived only once.
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
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