Nov. 13, 2016 - 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
We live in a time of global instability. It feels a lot like what Jesus is describing in the gospel.
There are earthquakes in Italy, famines in Africa, Zika in South America and Miami. It seems that the cold war is back on with Russia.
There is war in Syria and Iraq. The entire Middle East is a tinder box waiting to explode. Catholic Christians in Muslim countries are being dragged out into the streets and killed.
Gun violence is on the rise in our country. We live under the constant threat of random acts of terror. There are many complex contributing factors in this rise of violence. But the reality is that there is social upheaval and instability.
A local politician said this in a recent tv commercial, “I believe love is the answer but you ought to own a handgun just in a case.” That says it all.
We have recently discovered that racism is alive and well in our country.
South Louisiana was devastated by flooding rains exacerbated by overdevelopment.
In this time of violence and chaos and bloodshed it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is easy for us to lose our way. It is easy for us to become pessimistic. It is easy for us to lose hope.
It is easy for us to be swept up in the general tumult and become aggressive and antagonistic to everyone around us.
What does Jesus say? These things are bound to happen. Do not be terrified.
Now, what do we do with this? How can we not be terrified? Being terrified is easy. Following Jesus is harder. Jesus says over and over again, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.”
Hostility from others is no excuse for us to be hostile ourselves.
We are to persevere in goodness and holiness.
Sometimes the goodness of humanity can be so difficult to see that we may even begin to question God’s presence. So, as we close this Year of Mercy we ask God to look mercifully upon us and the mess we’ve made.
I suspect one of the lesson for us to learn is that what is man made will eventually crumble and fall. The things we humans create will all pass away eventually.
But what comes from God will endure forever. What God creates lasts forever.
Sometimes we place too much faith and hope and trust in our human institutions.
This can leave little room for God. As we bring this Year of Mercy to a close, we need to make room for God. We need to feel God’s healing rays of mercy and love upon us.
There may be earthquakes, famines, plagues, guns, smoke, fire, carnage, destruction, bombardment all around us.
But Jesus says, “Stand tall and do not fear for not a hair on your head will be destroyed.