Proclaiming God to the World
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Readings: Malachi 3:13-4a, 5-6
2 Thessalonians 3:6-10
Today’s lesson may sound difficult for some but we know that God turns everything into good. If we have our confidence in Him, things will be what they are suppose to be. In the reading of Malachi 3, “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God.’ What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’” We are ignorant because we do not really grasp what He is telling us.
Then we go to the Gospel of Luke and this helps us understand what Jesus was trying to say. Some of his disciples were drawn to the physical awesomeness of the Temple. The frontal portion was covered with gold. The stone work was perfect and glistening white. It was meant to show the awesomeness of God. The Temple was built with natural things, earthly things. The beauty of the Temple was a proclamation of God. The world hates it because they do not possess the awesomeness of God in their lives. The Church should proclaim God to the world. Jesus wants us to understand the things that were going to take place. The Cathedrals of old were all done by hand. There were no bulldozers or fancy equipment. Jesus said, “There will be a day that not one stone will be left on another and everything will be torn down.” The beauty of the Temple causes unrest to people who do not have the peace of Christ. Look at what’s happening around us. There are storms and earthquakes and these are works of the enemy. He comes to fight against us, to deceive us and cause evil to come upon us. We see wars today. Russia, Ukraine. There are major conflicts. Why are there more diseases and sicknesses in this day and age? Because the soul is in conflict with the spiritual things, causing unrest and stress upon the people. And what about gender issues? People want to change their sexes. Little by little, the enemy is trying to destroy the principles of God. There will be those who will come in God’s name but are really not of God. Jesus wants us to be strong and not to be in fear.
He will restore the hearts of the children to their fathers and the hearts of the fathers to their children. He said not a strand of your hair will fall. We are valuable in God’s sight. We are experiencing the signs of the end times; Wars and rumors of wars, the moon turning into bloody red. But we should not be in fear. He watches over us. Even when we are captured during tribulation and brought to court, we will have wise utterances that the ones who oppose us will not even be able to resist. God will defend us. He will not fail us. He will not forsake us. “By your endurance you will gain your life.” As we come to the end of Ordinary Time, this is God’s message for us. God wants us to have peace and serenity, like the beauty of the images of the New Jerusalem.