Sunday November 13
Only by His cross
  • Malachi 3:19-20
  • Psalm 98:5-9
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
  • Luke 21:5-19

Today’s Gospel proclamation warns of the end times. The end is imminent but we are not to be terrified. How we prepare ourselves is what is most important as Christians in our walk with the Lord.

The reading also captures at the outset a warning by our Lord Jesus Christ to not be deceived of those who may come in his name yet lead his flock astray. It is so easy for us to go here there and everywhere seeking hope yet unknown even to us we may be filling our minds with false truths or doctrines. For example there are those who faithfully preach Jesus Christ but do not mention the Cross of our Lord.

St. Francis De Sales (1567-1622) in his book; “Introduction to the Devout life” mentions this; “If our Saviour himself has declared, ‘by your endurance you will gain your soul,’ should it not be a man’s great happiness to possess his soul? The more perfect our patience, the more absolutely we possess it….our Lord has saved us by patient suffering, so we also ought to work out our salvation by sufferings and afflictions, enduring injuries and contradictions with all possible meekness.”

How do we endure if not for the cross? Only the Cross in the most perfect way, shows us how. Every time I am faced with a problem I seek the Lord Jesus Christ and look at the holy cross. My human tendency is to avoid hardships and accept only that which I can handle. But as I ponder Jesus on Calvary I find strength to endure my own trials. As we meditate on God’s word and Christ suffering on the Cross we receive power to gain our souls and not lose it by our human reactions.

Reflecting on the Cross and on what Christ endured for our sakes; his pain, shame, humiliation, defeat and ultimate death gives us a different perspective to endure our own crosses of pain, shame and humiliation. The worst humiliation can be endurable as I see that Christ had suffered far greater hanging naked on that cross. My pain seems small as I reflect on his pain and shame. That is how I endure by his cross. Just as there would be no resurrection without Calvary, there would be no victory without the cross.

Endurance produces character….we grow into the likeness of Jesus not tossed by every wave, not easily offended and able to forgive. Character produces hope in God’s goodness. Hope does not dissapoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:3-5). Those who lose their lives for the sake of Jesus, will gain it for eternity….and that is how by endurance we gain our souls.

Prayer: Abba Father, you care about us and your will continues to unfold in our lives. Give us strength to do our part so that we may rejoice in you. Amen.

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