Reflection for Tuesday, November 23, 2021: 34th Week of Ordinary Time.
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Alexander, Andy, S.J.
|In the lifetime of those kings|the God of heaven will set up a kingdom|that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people. Daniel 2|"See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying,|'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! |When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,|but it will not immediately be the end." Luke 21|During this last week of Ordinary Time, we have readings that speak of dark times and yet offer comfort that the chaos and division is not the final end. The good news, and this week, all point to the celebration of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.|The good news is that we've been saved. The victory over all the forces of evil has been won. There has been, and will continue to be, darkness. Bad things happen. The truth is distorted. Conflicts seem to reign. Loved ones get sick and die. Our planet is in peril and it seems unsure if we can save it. Children die every day of unspeakable poverty and hunger. Each of us could add to the list of discouraging, hope shattering bad news.|But we are people of faith. We turn to Jesus, not as one who undoes all the immediate effects of the darkness of sin and resistance to his way, but as one who comes as light in the midst of our darkness. He is our hope, when all seems hopeless. As we wrap up the old year, we can hear themes of the new year of hope - the Season of Advent. We can faintly hear the chant, "A Time Will Come for Singing."|The good news is, of course, about the victory over sin and death that Jesus won for us all on the Cross. We will have eternal life. As a gift. But, the good news is also that we can have consolation and comfort in this life, here and now, by knowing that we are not alone. Jesus is always with us. We can be people of courage with this faith. People who are not dis-couraged, but en-couraged by his accompaniment with us.|The good news continues to come alive when we imagine what people of faith and hope can do to make a difference in this world. We don't simply endure the darkness. We ourselves bring light. We build bridges of compassion in the midst of the terrible divisions among us. We become people of community, people of solidarity and people of fraternity. We help others see and appreciate what can happen when people work together for the common good. The good news comes alive when believers become advocates for the advancement of the Reign of God here on earth. When we stand together to protect the vulnerable; when we give voice to the voiceless; when we overcome obstacles centered in greed and profit, to save our planet and those who are and will suffer most from inaction.|May Jesus fill us with faith and hope and love these days. For the consolation of our hearts, and for the coming of God's Kingdom among us all.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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