Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Daniel 5:1-6,13-14,16-17,23-28
Gospel Luke 21:12-19

"By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

So many people grow fearful thinking about a cataclysmic end of the planet, even though the vast majority of mankind will never face it. Perhaps you’ve seen one of those movies where there’s a dramatic end to life on the planet Earth as we know it. Movies like that can draw a great deal of attention, and sell a lot of tickets and popcorn. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter if you die from an ice age covering the whole continent, or from old age in your own home: death is death.

We reflect on this sobering truth at the end of each Church year: in November, we pray to the saints in heaven, and for the faithful in Purgatory, and the Church reminds us of the “last things”: heaven, hell, death, and judgment. All this give us perspective.

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus declares to His disciples, “By perseverance you will secure your lives.” What does this mean? Every day, God calls us to offer Him our lives in faith, and to live for others. That’s how we can reach the hour of our deaths in God’s sight. When all is said and done, there are two types of persons. There are those who say in the end, “Heavenly Father, thy will be done.” Then there are those to whom the Father says in the end, “My child, thy will be done.”