The WORD in Other Words by Fr Rudolf Horst SVD (Philippines) for Thursday Week 34 in Ordinary Time
Isn‘t it that the Gospel is supposed to be “good news ? When I read what Jesus told his disciples I thought that no news could be as worse as the announcement of Jerusalem‘s destruction (in the year 70) and an impending cosmic turmoil. Bad news, indeed, that can cause nightmares. Today, Jesus might have added that two or three superpowers would unleash their nuclear arsenal.
Why did he frighten his audience so much? Jesus wanted his followers to be realistic and not dreamers. Too many among us continue to live the way we are used to: “Eat, drink and be happy.” But sooner or later, we realize that life does not always follow this dictum. Jesus wants us to be prepared for the not so desirable reality, the fragility of life.
But the last sentence is like the bright sun breaking through dark clouds. “When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
There is after all good news. We are not created for doom. Death is not the black door that leads into nothingness. The liturgical color for funeral Masses must not be black. It can be violet or even white — the color of Easter, of the joy of the Resurrection. As the Preface says: ” The sadness of death gives way to bright promise of immortality…. Life is changed, not ended… we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.”
Why not focus on this beautiful truth when watching the often doomsday news on TV?