Today's Gospel: Luke 21: 20-28
Between Revelation's reading today speaking of the end of the world, and Jesus talking about horrors to befall Jerusalem, things can look pretty bleak for believers. And yet Jesus says something that brings hope to His disciples: "When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."
Being a Christian in today's world isn't easy. We shouldn't be surprised by this; Jesus Himself said that we'd face persecution and hatred. After all, the world hated Him first. But there will be a time when this, too, shall pass. Our hope is not in the kingdoms of this world, and we shouldn't be pinning our dreams on what politicians promise to do in order to "fix" this world.
J.R.R. Tolkien once said, "Actually, I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic; so that I do not expect 'history' to be anything but a 'long defeat' - though it contains some samples of final victory."
Yet we can't be Debby Downers about this! On the contrary, we have the greatest hope there is: hope in Christ Jesus! The victory is already His, and we know how things will end. This is why Jesus tells us to "stand erect and raise your heads," for we know, even in the midst of great turmoil, our hope is secure in The Lord. Our true home is Heaven, and our reward will be more than enough to make up for any hardship or suffering we endure in this life.
When my life gets difficult, do I remember that it is all in passing? Do I remember that I am still in God's hands, and that the hardships that come my way are only temporary? Do I look to God for my hope, and keep my eyes on the prize of Heaven?
Father in Heaven, thank you for all of my blessings, especially the blessing of my faith in You and the graces you grant me through Your Church. Teach me to see beyond my current circumstances and look to You for strength to endure my hardships.
Copyright 2014 Christine Johnson
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.