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33rd Sunday Yr C – are you ready for the last day?

November 12, 2013

Download 33rd Sunday 

Reflection Questions

  1. The Prophet Malachi is upset. Israel has returned from exile, the Temple has been rebuilt, the liturgy is celebrated, and yet the rich are increasingly hurting the poor. He did not expect Israel to be like this. One writer expresses it this way: I know what living for God looks like on ʻSundayʼ, but what does it look like on ʻMondayʼ? How do you integrate ʻliturgyʼ with ʻlifeʼ? How does Sunday talk with Monday in your life?
  2. Malachi shares a judgment scene that we will witness at the end of days. There will be a reversal of fortunes for many. How do you understand and interpret ʻyou who fear my nameʼ. Can you identify fearing someone who loves you greatly? What does it positively cause you to do?
  3. Paul continues his letter to the Thessalonians. Some disciples were so convinced the ʻDay of the Lordʼ had arrived that they actually retired early! Unfortunately they became ʻarmchairʼ critics of others and a ʻburdenʼ. They focussed on the shortcomings of others rather than the ʻcoming of the Lordʼ. Within the Church community, is your energy focussed on being ʻcriticalʼ of others? How could your energy be turned toward focussing on Jesus?
  4. When will the final day arrive is a big question. Jesus and the Gospel writers do not give an answer to ʻwhenʼ but only ʻthatʼ it will happen. The Gospel of Luke challenges us to be ready for the last day. In the time of writing the Gospel of Luke the community had already witnessed Jewish persecution causing many to leave Jerusalem. Many disciples ended up in Rome and were also persecuted there (60AD). The beautiful Jewish temple was totally destroyed (as Jesus predicted) in Jerusalem (70AD). Further persecution occurred at the order of Domitian (80AD). Under such difficult times, apocalyptic writing gave disciples hope that there will be a final victory of good over evil. However this involves a challenge that we are to make good moral choices ʻpersonallyʼ and ʻnowʼ. What words in the gospel give you ʻhopeʼ. What words challenge you deeply? Do you consider yourself ʻreadyʼ?
  5. Contemporary society does not face many of us with such obvious persecution as the early christians experienced. Some writers suggest we are no longer faced with a ʻredʼ (blood) martyrdom, but a ʻwhiteʼ (perseverance) martyrdom. What would a ʻmodernʼ synagouge or prison be? How do you experience christians being taunted, threatened, influenced away from Christ? What does it mean to ʻgive testimonyʼ because of ʻmy nameʼ?
  6. Next week is the final week of the liturgical year celebrated by the Feast of Christ The King. We liturgically celebrate ʻas if it was the ʻend of timeʼ! Imagine the urgency of having only a few weeks to live. How would you live? What would you consider is most important to do? What would be demanded of you in your spiritual life? What do you need to ʻdoʼ?
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ʻlivingthewordʼ this week?

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