Readings: Revelation 15:1-4; Luke 21:12-19
Today’s Gospel reminds us of what we may not wish to know: that catastrophe is part of human life, part of discipleship. Not even the Lord who calls us guarantees a smooth path. Catastrophe is not an index of poor choices, just as “success” is not an index of my intelligence or good sense. But am I willing to learn that crucial lesson? Or am I willing to learn the lesson that so much of my life is beyond my control? Or that God’s respect for the free will with which we are all endowed means that God does not correct and control every human error?
However conscientious or faithful I may be, other people’s damage will spill over into my life. How much anger and resentment have I wasted reacting to that phenomenon? Might I not have put that same energy to better use?
If this all sounds very grim, today’s Gospel reminds me that when what I most fear erupts in my life, that’s not the end of the story. Yes, they will put some of you to death. Yes, you will be hated because of my name. BUT, By your perseverance you will secure your lives.
The crucial question is, am I capable of trusting that promise or will I be trapped in my obsessions and fears?