33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C

by Fr Peterson Muriithi

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Last Sunday we looked at the courage portrayed by the seven brothers and their mother who gladly accepted to suffer and die in this world so as to enjoy the promise of eternal life. Likewise Jesus in the Gospel talked of the resurrection of the dead and the life after, which we all need to focus on; not forgetting the prayer or rather the words of encouragement that we got from St.Paul that will help us to remain strong in our daily lives as far as taking up our crosses and following Christ is concerned.

Today’s readings come to give hope to the hopeless, downtrodden, those subjected to any form of suffering and those who live in wait for a better tomorrow. It would be extremely difficult and disappointing if an expectant mother learns that her labour pains will last forever and the baby will never be delivered. I guess she would rather wish for death rather than live in suffering for the rest of her life. But she would smile and be happy after realising that her pains and tears will eventually be turned into joy of the new life given to her. Likewise, when we find ourselves in any form of struggle, we should always try to focus on the good that will come out of it, so as to bear the heat, frustrations, pain and sufferings that come with it.

As we come closer to the close of the liturgical year 2018/2019, it is very easy to link today’s readings with end times, end of the world and the closure of all that exists. However, the readings are not specifically talking of the end of life and what God created but the destruction of the evil and injustices that have dominated our societies. As we can see in the first reading, God is coming to clean up the world so that His Justice maybe seen among the righteous, He is coming to reward the righteous ones and humble the proud hearted. God never forgets His children and especially those that have made up their minds to keep His commandments and uphold Gospel teachings. He is coming to answer a very common question that lingers in the minds of many; “why do the righteous suffer? Why do the evil doers thrive?” If we remain faithful He will come and deliver us from the hands of the oppressors and all the evil in this world, the old world will pass away and He will establish a new world where there is peace, love and equality among the children of God.

The sun of righteousness mentioned in the first reading is a promise made to those who wait on the Lord with hope and patience. In the letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, Paul uses the images of work and food to explain the life of any Christian who lives in hope for a better future. He uses himself as an example of those who never expected handouts but worked hard to support himself and the work entrusted to him by Jesus Christ. He condemns those who laze around and expect to enjoy the sweat from other people’s toil. It is out of Laziness that many people in our societies kill, steal and do all sorts of criminal activities in order to acquire the wealth of other people who took time and worked hard for what they have today. St.Paul says, we who do not want to work, shouldn’t even imagine a plate of food on our tables, and we shouldn’t go around interfering with those who want to work and earn a living. This can also be likened with the kingdom of God as Jesus used to say in His parables; if we do not want to live holy lives by obeying God’s commandments, then we shouldn’t expect to enjoy the fruits of the new world promised in our today’s readings.

Finally Jesus in the Gospel of St.Luke strengthens the message relayed in the first and the second reading by warning us against those people who come to confuse God’s Children claiming to be speaking in the name of Jesus and even others claiming to be Jesus himself. Many have been deceived in the present age to a point of giving out all they have believing that the end is coming at a particular day and hour. Many have refused to put their trust in God but constantly worshipped men who promise wealth, instant miracles and other material related successes. Happy are those who have believed in the promises of Christ and have made up their minds to wait on the renewal of our sinful world.

Some of us could be asking; when will this new world come? When will this suffering end? When will Justice be served? The answer to these questions and many more, lies in our hearts and especially we who believe in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The onset of the new world and new life began with the coming of Jesus Christ in human form, His passion, death and resurrection. The fulfilment of this new world without sin, injustices and so on and so forth will be at the end of the history. However we should always know that in our daily struggles, Jesus is always present and as He promised the disciples, we don’t need to worry about what to say or do in the face of persecution because He will give us wisdom and courage to bear and deal with what we meet on our Christian journey.

In conclusion, lets renew our faith in Jesus Christ and help those that are in need in our families and society at large, let’s try and be at peace with one another, no matter the problems or challenges that we encounter in this passing world. This is the only sure way of enjoying the lasting fruits of the world to come.

Have a blessed Sunday.