33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Nov. 17 2019
A Reflection based on readings from Malachi 3:19-20A, Psalm 98, 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12, Luke 21:5-19        
By Rev. Bob Johnnene OFM Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans Divine Mercy Reformed Catholic Church
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The readings for this Sunday are of persevering and they seem to be preparing us for the coming season of Advent
since the first reading has this admonition; “The day is coming now, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and
the evil-doers will be like stubble. … But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will shine out with
healing in its rays.”; and in the final Gospel reading Christ is telling those around him at the Temple of Jerusalem;
“When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen, but the end is
not so soon.” ….. “You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your
endurance will win you your lives.”
As this week closes out the Ordinary liturgical year and is the week before we in the US celebrate the holiday called
THANKSGIVING, we might think about dedicating ourselves to the task of doing whatever we can to insure that
Equality, Justice and freedom are alive in our communities, state and nation as well as the world. Let us be strong
advocates of putting an end to torture, bigotry, hatred, killing, poverty, hunger, homelessness and all the injustices
that plague our societies and the world today.
Recently we have seen and heard of so many young people who have either taken their lives because of being
bullied or have suffered beatings and in a few cases death by people who felt that they were superior or that their
beliefs were the correct one. We hear of many more young people who are dying from vaping & drug overdoses.
All of those who have died, were children of God and somehow got lost for reasons that often include feeling
unloved, alone, different or because they were trying to be accepted.  Sadly, many of those lost children were
brought up in an environment where God or mention of God was hardly ever present.
Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that commemorates the first feast that our Pilgrim Fathers and
Mothers held to thank God for a successful harvest. They included in that feast, the native Americans of the
Wampanoag Tribe who showed them how to survive in their new country and how to grow foods that were native to
this region, like cranberries.  These founding people of our great nation had a deep conviction and faith in The
Almighty Creator often called God.  
Christ has told us that if we have faith and put our trust in God, we can overcome any injustices.
People who have been the victims of bullying or those who have had any violent act committed against them may
well think that the end is near.  Survivors and victims of crimes often have feelings of denial, fear, anger,
vindictiveness. Often they do not understand why the crime happened to them, and are often unable to forgive.
But we MUST forgive just as Christ did when he hung on the cross and proclaimed “Father, forgive them, for they
know not what they do”
It is true, many who commit the violent acts especially one of prejudice and hatred do so because they have been
taught this by bigoted and people ignorant of God’s teachings.   All too often the victims of prejudice, hatred and
violence are often overlooked and forgotten about but the trauma that they experienced lives forever in their mind
and heart and gives them fear often deep enough for them to believe that their world has ended.   Every day of the
year we are called by God to bring hope to the hopeless.  Every day I pray the prayer often attributed to St. Francis
because it embraces all that St. Francis of Assisi, and the Bishop of Rome who chose the name Francis because of
The teachings of Francis of Assisi to care for the poor, sick, aged the environment and marginalized of society.
The prayer is; Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is
injury, pardon; Where there is error, the truth; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where
there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be
consoled, as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to
eternal life.
Giving people the knowledge of God’s infinite love and mercy and a spiritual wellbeing can bring comfort and help to
people in pain,
As it says in our first reading from the prophet Malachi, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The
Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord
and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured
possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the
distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”
There is much each of us can do to advance this process of justice and equality for all as promised in the Declaration
of Independence of the United States, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit
of Happiness.”
If we do our part to insure that every human being on the face of the earth is treated with equality, justice and is
afforded freedom to live their life in a manner that does not hurt another we will be carried through suffering to glory
with Jesus.
By doing our part we will be living out the final words found in Psalm 97; “You that love the LORD, hate evil” “You
Will be delivered out of the hand of the wicked.”
This is a time not of endings or finality but of hope and a time to begin to turn away from accepting violence and
hatred and turning to be a loving and caring child of God who extends the kind of love Christ exhibited toward all who
came to him. This is a time to become open and affirming toward all God’s children regardless of their nationality,
race, gender, marital status or sexual orientation.  
Every person on the face of this earth is a child of God and deserves to have dignity, equality and justice and the
freedom to live without fear.
Let us make this our goal for the coming season of Advent as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our redeemer and
Savior.  Let us work hard to restore Justice to ALL God’s children all over the globe.                 AMEN