The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C - 17th November, 2013

There is a famous story about the Irish “mammy” who went to her son’s passing-out parade as a Garda. As she watched the parading Gardai she remarked to the person beside her that her son was the only one who was marching in step. Unfortunately, that lady is not on her own. We all, very often, see what we want to see; or, perhaps more accurately, we see what we are able to recognise. This is one of the challenges that today’s readings highlight.

The passage we have heard from Luke’s gospel presents us with the people who were admiring the temple – how fine it was! Jesus points out to them that no matter how beautiful it is, it will not last forever. Others have allowed themselves to become distracted by the teaching of people other than Jesus. Indeed, there are many other things that will come that will absorb our attention. Jesus’ words are as relevant today as there were when they were first spoken. These words of Jesus are important because without heeding them even the most advanced disciple could easily wander off the way. It’s useful to remember that Luke, in his gospel, is concerned with helping his community to be faithful disciples; to persevere on the way which is Jesus.

The message today is clear: Focus!  Don’t shift your gaze from Jesus and from the kingdom. There will be many things that will seem important, even urgent, but the only truly important thing is to stay on the way to the kingdom. The path of the disciple is about focusing, day by day, on the things and on the people that Jesus focused on. There will always be people who have another idea but Luke’s words come to us reminding us that we are about following Jesus, not following anyone else.

We know that this world will end. Times and dates are not given. The challenge of the gospel is to hang in there for as long as it takes. As we read in the last line of today’s gospel: “your endurance will win you your lives”.

Article posted on 16th of November 2013

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