33rd Sunday in Ordinary time
Malachi 3:19-20
2 Thessalonians 3: 7-12
Luke 21:28


Do you recall when you were a kid, coming a cropper and skinning your knee?  Oh, the agony! No one in the annals of history had experienced pain like it!  And can you remember the hug, when you were swept up and cuddled and soothed; how instantly it reduced the pain from a level ten to a level two? Or how, after you had stuffed-up big time, the understanding and unconditional support of a loved-one helped to make those feelings of failure bearable?

Malachi and Luke, in today’s rather bruising readings, speak of the calamities that we humans bring upon ourselves, yet they assure us that God will bring us through, so long as we reach out to God in trust.  In our era, we are experiencing our share of (hu)man-made disasters. We need to get back on to our metaphorical bikes and head toward the dream God has for us.

Paul, in 2 Thessalonians warns us against complacency and tells us to do our part, to pull our weight, when it comes to the community.  Idleness is the devil’s workshop.  It can lead perniciously to such things as depression, substance-abuse, meddling in the affairs of others and trolling, to name a few.  Paul seems to be saying that, simply holding a membership card of the Christian community is insufficient.  We need to be alive to the responsibilities that come from the privilege we have received, or else accept the consequences of our own indolence.

If you turn up to Mass this morning, expecting solace and reassurance from today’s readings, you’ll have to work for it!

Brian Norman has been married to Kathleen for 48 years and they have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. For many years he worked with offenders and later with victims of crime.  Earlier, he was a registered nurse and, in his salad days, he was a Passionist student. He is involved in the Terrey Hills community, where he is a Passionist Companion.