Jesus concludes his instructions today to the disciples who are worried about the coming destruction and persecution in Jerusalem. He cautions them against falling prey to the temptation to overindulge in the pleasures of this earthly life, so they are not surprised when persecution comes. Instead, Jesus tells them to be vigilant and pray for the strength to withstand the coming trials they will face.
Today’s reading is a good bridge between last Sunday’s Feast of Christ the King and tomorrow when we will begin the season of Advent. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of our Savior, both at the Incarnation and at the end of time. Today Jesus gives us good advice on how to prepare and be prepared for the coming of Jesus into our lives.
First, we must not allow any earthly pleasures to distract us from the presence of God in our lives. Jesus and His presence within us must always be our top priority. Is Jesus the King of your life, and the source of your joy and happiness? We do not know when our time will come to meet the Lord at the end of our life. Will we be ready or taken by surprise?
Jesus tells us to be vigilant and pray for the strength to face the trials and hardships that will come in this life. I am amazed at the strength of faith some people in our parish community have to face the hard times and unexpected sufferings that come their way. They trust the Lord to give them the strength they need during difficult times. They also acknowledge that they couldn’t face these difficulties on their own. The love and support they get from Jesus in prayer, and from Jesus through the people who serve and support them, helps them know that God is with them.
The Lord knows our struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings. And he assures us that we do not need to carry our burdens alone nor struggle without his help. He is always present and ready to give us whatever strength, guidance, and help we need to fight temptation and to stay the course which he has set for us. We just need to seek his love and mercy.
Ask the Lord Jesus to rekindle the fire of his love in you so that you will be ready and eager to meet him when he comes again.
Today’s Questions for Prayer and Reflection:
Who is ruling your life on a daily basis? Is it Jesus Christ our King? If not, what can you do to turn to Jesus today?