THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year I (November 17, 2019)
Mal 3:10-20a/2 Thes 3:7-12/Lk 21:5-19
From the beginning of the history of humanity, it is clear who the deceiver is: Satan. That is why those who deceive others are influenced by Satan or by his demons. Deception is Satan’s expertise and until now he is doing his job to deceive the people in order to separate them from God. In the Gospel, Jesus warns us of this work of Satan: “Watch out that you are not deceived” (Lk 21:8a).
In the gospel, the people admire the beauty of the temple of Solomon. Indeed, the temple is a marvelous work of art and very massive and solid. The people think that it is impossible that the temple will be ruined. But Jesus who knows the impending disaster gives His prophecy: “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down” (Lk 21:6). It is normal in this world that people are deceived by Satan. We are deceived by Satan to rely on our strengths and capacity that we forget that only God knows the future and that He has the power over our present and future life. Consequently, we become self-centered and proud that we think we do not need God or religion. It is only when everything fails that we remember God and that we ask His mercy and help.
In this world, Satan is present everywhere. We do not notice him because he is pure spirit. But we can see his influence in our lives. When we have evil thoughts, plans, desires, words, and actions, clearly we are influenced by Satan and his demons. For this reason, God has given each of us a guardian angel to protect us from the influence and the deception of Satan. What is needed is that we believe in the fact that we always have a guardian angel assigned to us by God and that we must have a devotion to him by constantly communicating with him and asking him his help especially when we feel or discover the presence of evil. God does not abandon us and through the guardian angels, He protects us and leads us to the right path. We only have to listen to our guardian angel and be obedient to him.
The Gospel reminds us of the end of times which warns us of the impending judgment. Everything that we see in this world will collapse and disappear just like the destruction of the temple which happens some years after the prophecy of Jesus. Hence, we must not put our hearts on material things because all these do not matter to God and will perish. What is important for God is our faithfulness to Him and to the teachings of Jesus. The problem is, if we are to observe what is happening in our society, we discover that we are too busy on worldly affairs as if this is the only life that we have and that this is the only place where we must live. But the fact is that there is life after death and that we are destined to eternal life in heaven. And God has given us His only begotten Son as the way to eternal life. We must listen to Him and live His life. Certainly, Satan and his demons are working hard to deceive us and to dissuade us from following Jesus. But we must stand firm in our faith because only those who are faithful until the end will be saved. Therefore, we must watch out so that we may not be deceived by evil. Let us always cling to God through the help of the saints and of our guardian angels so that we may not fall into temptation but rather be always faithful to Jesus.