Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD November 14, 2021/33nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
There was a young lady-lector at Mass who was reading the Scriptures for the first time before a large congregation in church. Visibly nervous, she blurted out as she concluded: “This…this is the end of the world” (She meant Word). And the congregation chorused: “Thanks be to God”!
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We have reached the end of the Church calendar and commemorated All Souls Day. Today, we reflect on the end of the world.
Some people have been asking me, “Father, is the world about to end?” “And why should it about to end?” I replied. “It’s because of the plagues, referring to the Covic-19 pandemic, the earthquakes, famines, global warming. These are now happening in our country and in the world?”
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During Christ’s time, people were gravely perturbed and asked the same question. But Christ tells us not to be frightened “for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon” (cf. Lk 21, 9).
Jesus douses cold water on all predictions of the end, saying, “As for that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mk 13,32).
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What matters is NOW. Are we holding on to our faith or living as a Christian should?
While we are still in this world, we are exhorted no less from our Lord Jesus to do God’s his will. Jesus has always stressed the virtue of love for neighbor so much so that in the Last Judgment, he will ask us what good deeds we have done for them. “When I was hungry you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink, sick and in prison and you visited me… Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt. 25).
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Another requirement for entering the kingdom of God is following his will and commands as stated in the 10 Commandments: “Honor your father and mother, you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal…”
There are people who don’t like obeying, saying, “These commands are a burden and a restriction to our freedom.“ On the contrary, obeying these commands is not only God’s will but it’s for the good and welfare of our country.
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For instance, in the coming election, God expects us to be judicious in choosing leaders who’re honest, competent and incorruptible; leaders who will work genuinely for the good and welfare of the people, especially in this time of economic crisis.
Likewise, God’s commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” is imposed not only to restrict our greed or amass ill-gotten wealth but also the unabated violation of the commandment leads to the country’s economic perdition. How true is the dictum affirmed by the Greek philosopher Plato: “Poverty is not the decrease of wealth but the increase of greed.”
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Let’s live in such a way that in the Last Judgment, you will not have cause to regret when God will judge us. * * *
STORY TO PONDER. Once there was a wealthy matron who died and went to heaven. St. Peter escorted her down a magnificent boulevard on which rows of mansions stood. The rich lady, seeing an exceptionally beautiful house, asked who lived there.
“You will be surprised,” said St. Peter. “That is the house of your katulong (helper).” “Well,” the lady said smiling, “if my helper gets a place like that, I certainly should own a more grandiose residence.”
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Soon they came to an alley where the houses were cramped. St. Peter stopped and said, pointing his finger, “Lady, you will live in that hut.” She stared at it and said, “Me, live in that hovel! This is an insult. When I was on earth, I was a rich, influential matron.” “Well, this is the best we can do for you,” explained St. Peter.
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“You must understand that we only built your house up here with the materials you sent ahead while you were still on earth.”
LESSON: The construction materials we send ahead are not wood, cement, gravel, and sand but our good works, our acts of kindness, and piety