FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION:
THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK OF THE YEAR
Instead of looking for a king whose power protects and promotes our national interests, we ask God instead to “open our hearts” to his way of ruling.
Christ the King invites us to die to our human way of judging and accept that he “reconciles humankind” by his sacrificial death on the cross. It is this victory through defeat that “brings peace and unity to the world.”
Our faith: How many of these statements do you believe? And live?
Jesus did not come to save us from suffering on earth. He came to empower us to “endure evil with love.” To accept this is to accept Christ as King.
Jesus was rejected by his own people and the Romans for the same reason: he would not use power to defend himself or anyone else from oppression and death:
John Paul teaches that the call to “perfect love” is “meant for everyone.” Then so is the call to that "heroic love" embraced by those who refuse to kill in self-defense.
We need to sing God’s praises now, while we can do it as our choice of faith in him, our investment in his promises, the free gift of our un-waffling love.
Jesus’ preferred image for heaven was a wedding banquet uniting the whole human race, without any distinctions, in one happy, celebrating community of love.
We need to think about what heaven will be like — take all the images and go beyond them — until we look forward to it, long for it, are even fixated on it!
Luke 21: 1-4: the “widow’s mite” is an example of total stewardship shown in a particular decision about how to use for God what is already turned over to him.
Luke 21: 5-11 makes clear that the focus of our stewardship must be on people, not buildings or institutions. When Jesus comes as King nothing will matter except the people who are saved or lost.
Luke 21: 12-19: In subtle ways we are pressured to deny Christ by our culture and peer group whenever our attitudes and behavior reflect faith rather than conformity.
Luke 21:20-28: Jesus foretells persecution by the powerful in this world. But we draw hope from the promise we will see Jesus return with power and great glory.
Luke 21:29-33: Jesus tells us we should interpret current events, good and bad, in the light of how they help or hinder the establishment of the kingdom of God.
Luke 21: 34-36; The only intelligent way to live is as faithful stewards looking forward to the master’s return, constantly repeating, “Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!” So ends the liturgical year.
Be Christ’s steward. Abandon all to God and live solely for him.
Look to essentials. Grow people. Look to a glorious future and work for it.