The end is near. There is no doubt about it. The warnings are dire. The tone of today’s texts is ominous. But the baptized know how to live in the meantime. The baptized are strengthened for the living of these days in word and sacrament. The baptized rally around the invitation of the apostle: “Do not be weary in doing what is right.”
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The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Malachi 4:1-2a
Malachi, whose name means “my messenger,” warns that “the day is coming.” On that day, the evil will be destroyed like stubble in a fire, but the “sun of righteousness” will shine on those who honor God.
Psalm: Psalm 98
In righteousness will the LORD judge the world. (Ps. 98:9)
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Some members of the Thessalonian community, because of their belief in the nearness of Christ’s return, had ceased to work, living off the generosity of other members of the community. The writer of this letter warns them bluntly that if they want to eat, they need to work.
Gospel: Luke 21:5-19
As history moves toward God’s fulfillment there will be frightening signs and events. Before the end, believers will draw strength from their relationship to God and will be given the words they need to testify and to endure without fear.
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide, we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen