Pastor’s Weekly Message 11-13-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel could easily describe our present day situation. Nations continue to rise against nations, families continue to rise against families. Our increasingly interconnected world is significantly divided on many crucial issues pertaining to the survival of our civilization, our species, and our planet. Earthquakes, fires, famines, floods, and diseases feel like everyday occurrences around the globe. Are we in the end times? Probably not, but we cannot know for certain. Jesus’ instructions remain relevant whenever that day comes.
It is important to consider that for Jesus’ disciples, and for the first readers of Luke’s Gospel, the end of the world and second coming of the Messiah was, they believed, near at hand, and that they might well experience it in their lifetime. Over two thousand years and an unfortunate multitude of calamitous events later, we know that this was not the case. Jesus says in the Gospel that all these things would “happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” (Luke 21:9) It could be tomorrow, or it could be another two thousand years or more. What can we do to be ready?
Jesus has two clear instructions. The first is to not be terrified. While it is natural to be afraid in the face of perilous times and situations, if we have faith in our loving God we can be certain that, whatever befalls us in the moment, we are held in love by a force much greater than that which threatens us. This fearlessness is not just a display of faith, it allows us to more effectively react to a crisis and hopefully ensure a better outcome for ourselves and those in our care. The second is to persist. As a species, we have evolved to avoid pain, both physical and emotional. But as beings made in the image and likeness of our God, we know that we can endure difficult things and derive benefit from our perseverance. We have as our example Jesus Himself, whose persistent, fearless love overcomes death and who promises us eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
I wish you and your loved ones blessings of good health, great hope, and fearless persistence,

Fr. Paul

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