November 17, 2013 – Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Well…this week’s readings were pretty tough to write about! If you know me at all then you know that I’m something of a storyteller…a songwriter. I draw inspiration from parables and poems. This week I tried to find the poetry, but the bottom line is that this week Jesus is just saying it like it is. Not much poetry, just a pretty straight message:

Everything you see will one day be destroyed. Nation will rise against nation and worse, you will be greatly persecuted because of my name.

My favorite part, though, is where Jesus says:

“…and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.”

Hmmmm…I don’t know about you, but to me, being put to death would definitely qualify as having a hair or two on my head destroyed! What could Jesus mean?

As such very tangible beings, it’s hard for us to get our brains around the fact that we actually live every day of our lives for something we cannot see. We’re really here on this earth for only ONE reason…to GO TO HEAVEN!! Which is why Jesus says, don’t be afraid when bad things are happening around you. There’s a lot going on that you cannot see with your eyes. Just have faith in Me.

I can think of a few scary things that happen sometimes in the lives of our friends and family; someone gets really sick or a dad loses his job…those things can seriously make everyone think:

What happens if Mom dies??? What if we can’t afford to pay for my college now???

Sometimes events can happen that truly, genuinely change our lives forever. Fortunately, many times, the “worst case” does not actually happen (although sometimes it does). But I think one of the things I can honestly be grateful for is that in those moments where I don’t know how things are going to turn out – those are the moments that I have to decide – “Do I really trust God completely?” Am I really willing to say, “Lord, even if my whole life changes tomorrow, I will not fear. I know You are here and no matter what I see with my eyes, I know that ‘not a hair on my head will be destroyed’ if I keep trusting You.”?

Maybe you’re facing something scary like that right now; but whether you are or not, odds are that one day, we all will. When that time comes, think about Paul in the Bible. He was locked up in prison, frustrated that he couldn’t go out and preach the Good News, and probably about to be martyred for his faith in Jesus. He was surely asking God, “What’s the point!!??? Why did you pick me and then lock me up? Now, all I can do is sit here and write a bunch of stupid letters to people…what good is that??”

Well, Paul never could have understood or seen with his eyes that WE would all be reading those letters to the Romans and Corinthians and Ephesians thousands of years later! In his faithfulness, God did amazing things, and although Paul was indeed martyred eventually, I assure you, “not a hair on his head was destroyed!”

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