By Father Andrew Kelly
The believing community is gathered around the Scriptures and the Lord’s table proclaiming: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” This is what anchors the community, as there are no other certainties.
In Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 21:5-19) Jesus guarantees the community temple destruction and that false leaders will arise. The community is to pay no attention.
There will be wars and political instability mixed in with earthquakes, plagues and famine. The planets and stars will seem to be about to explode.
If this is not enough tribulation, the community will also be persecuted and dragged before political and religious leaders to justify itself. Family and community members will betray one another.
All Jesus promises is mission and presence: “This will give you an opportunity to testify … for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict … But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.”
How does the community survive and even thrive during this threatening mayhem? Anchor itself in faith-filled Scripture and table gatherings while proclaiming full-throated: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)