Posted by: RAM | November 13, 2014

Friday (November 14): “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Holy Souls
Memorial of St. Nicholas Tavelic, OFM, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
42 Days Before Christmas
62 Days Before the Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines

First Reading: 2 John 4-9
Psalms 119:1-2, 10-11, 17-18:   Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Gospel: Luke 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/111414.cfm

Reflection:  What can nature teach us about the return of the Lord Jesus on the day of final judgment at the end of the world? Jesus quoted a familiar proverb to his audience: Where the body is, there the eagles (or vultures) will be gathered together. Eagles, like vultures, are attracted to carrion – the carcass of dying or dead animals. The Book of Job describes the eagle spying out its prey from afar (Job 39:29). The eagles swoop to catch their prey when the conditions are right, especially if the prey is exposed and vulnerable to a surprise attack. Severely weakened or dying prey have no chance of warding off forces that can destroy and kill.

Sign of the gathering eagles and vultures
What’s the point of this analogy? It’s  inevitable that some life-threatening or life-changing event or cause will take place when the necessary conditions are fulfilled. The return of the Lord Jesus is certain, but the time is unknown. The Day of the Lord’s judgment and final verdict will come swiftly and unexpectedly. Jesus warns his listeners to not be caught off guard when that day arrives. It will surely come in God’s good time!

Those we accept Jesus Christ as Lord will enter his everlasting kingdom
What does Jesus mean when he says that one person will be taken and another left? God judges each person individually on how they have responded to his mercy and his gracious invitation to accept or reject his kingship – to either live as citizens or as enemies of his kingdom. We cannot pass off personal responsibility and accountability for how we have lived our lives to someone else, such as a close friend, spouse, or family member. No one can discharge his or her duty by proxy or by association with someone else.

The good news is that God gives grace and help to all who seek him with faith and trust in his mercy. The Lord Jesus freely gives us his Holy Spirit so that we may have the wisdom, help, and strength we need to turn away from sin and to embrace God’s way of love, righteousness, and holiness. The Lord’s warning of judgment is a cause for dismay for those who have not heeded his warning and are now unprepared, but it brings joyful hope to those who eagerly anticipate the Lord’s return in glory.

The choice we make now – for or against Christ – will determine our future destination on the day judgment
God’s judgment and final verdict is good news for those who are ready to meet him. Their reward is God himself, the source and author of all that is good – truth, beauty, love, and everlasting life. The people in Noah’s time ignored the Lord’s warning of impending judgment. They missed the boat, literally! Whose boat are you taking – the world’s boat to short-lived success and happiness or God’s boat to an eternal kingdom and bliss with him? Those whose hope is firmly anchored in heaven will not be disappointed when God’s judgment and verdict comes. They rejoice even now that they will see the Lord in his glory! Is your hope firmly placed in God and his kingdom?

“Lord Jesus Christ, I place all my hope in you because you have redeemed the world by your death on the cross and by your victory over the grave. Help me to never lose sight of the goal of heaven that I may live each day in joyful anticipation of your return in glory.”   http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/nov14.htm http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Nicholas Tavelic and Companions (d. 1391)

Nicholas and his three companions are among the 158 Franciscans who have been martyred in the Holy Land since the friars became custodians of the shrines in 1335.

Nicholas was born in 1340 to a wealthy and noble family in Croatia. He joined the Franciscans and was sent with Deodat of Rodez to preach in Bosnia. In 1384 they volunteered for the Holy Land missions and were sent there. They looked after the holy places, cared for the Christian pilgrims and studied Arabic.

In 1391 Nicholas, Deodat, Peter of Narbonne and Stephen of Cuneo decided to take a direct approach to converting the Muslims. On November 11, 1391, they went to the huge Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem and asked to see the Qadi (Muslim official). Reading from a prepared statement, they said that all people must accept the gospel of Jesus. When they were ordered to retract their statement, they refused. After beatings and imprisonment, they were beheaded before a large crowd.

Nicholas and his companions were canonized in 1970. They are the only Franciscans martyred in the Holy Land to be canonized. http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1191&calendar=1

More Saints of the Day

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark. RAM

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