XXXIII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
malachi 3:19-20; 2 thessalonians 3:7-12; luke 21:5-19
a warrior was struck by a poisonous arrow. as he lay on the ground he mused: «i wonder of what kind of wood this arrow is made? from what birds the feathers come? i wonder what type of man shot this arrow?» his companions cried out in frustration: «for heaven’s sake! stop speculating and pull out the arrow!»
in the gospel, there is the speculative warrior in the people: they live in a present which is tense, and they want to know when the end will happen and what signs will indicate the end.
JESUS lists three phenomena which people might assume are indicators of the end: persecution; the appearance of false-messiahs; disasters. but he indicates that it is pointless to speculate when and how the end will happen. it will happen «whenever».
what should our response be? we need not be afraid. we ought not to be attached to transient structures. we need to «pull out the arrow»: to live fully with and for GOD always, to lead lives of perseverance. and then, it will be future perfect! «there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays» (first reading) and «not a hair on… [our] head will be destroyed» (gospel). in the second reading, st paul gives us another response: hard work.
am i going to allow the speculative warrior in me to «wonder» about the future and the end of the world or will i «pull out the arrow» by working hard and living a full life?
as joan borysenko writes: «the question is not whether we will die, but how we will live!»