“Lo, the day is coming … when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubbles, and the day that is coming will set them on fire … says the Lord of hosts. But for you who fear My name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” (Malachi 3:19-20)
Reflections on the readings for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (November 13, 2022): MAL 3:19-20; PS 98:5-6,7-8,9; 2THES 3:7-12; LK 21:5-19
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today’s reading calls His people to realize that those who are faithful, despite their discouragement in difficult circumstances, will ultimately experience His blessings and rewards.
This Sunday we look at various aspects of what’s commonly known as the end of the world: the return of Christ and the Final Judgement. The Book of Malachi was written about 500 years before the birth of Jesus. It seems to have been a time when some of the Jewish community lacked loyalty and reverence for the God. Today’s reading calls His people to realize that those who are faithful, despite their discouragement in difficult circumstances, will ultimately experience His blessings and rewards. On the other hand, those who are unjust and unfaithful will be punished. In addition, the people to whom Jesus spoke in the Gospel reading, as well the Thessalonians to whom that letter is addressed, are called to a true understanding of what the Second Coming of Christ will mean.
As we heard in last Sunday’s readings as well as today’s, the Thessalonians were having a hard time. Some were persecuted for their faith in Jesus. At the same time, a number had come to believe the end was near. So they quit working and depended on others for food and support. They also caused trouble by spending time interfering with others and making a nuisance of themselves while they awaited the Final Coming of Christ. The whole Christian community of Thessalonica needed St. Paul’s strong admonition. He reminded them that he and all who shared the faith there had worked hard not to be a burden and to offer them good example. “When we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). These people, like all of us Christians, were encouraged to stay calm and act appropriately, as loving children of the Almighty. We need to simply carry on by obeying God’s will, doing God’s work, and living God’s word. Then we need have no fear -- in time or eternity.
Suggested missionary action: This week, let us pray for God to grant us peace in our hearts and perseverance in following Christ, every day He gives us.