The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

The Good That Is Gone

Father George Smiga
November 17-18, 2013
Luke 21: 5-19

The setting of today’s gospel is important. Jesus and his disciples are in the temple of Jerusalem, and people are commenting how beautiful it is. It is adorned with precious stones and votive offerings. The Jerusalem temple was the pride of every Jew, Jesus and his disciples included. It took years to build at tremendous cost and effort. It was a symbol of Israel’s faith in God and at the same time a sign of Jewish identity. The temple was massive, glorious, and good. So when Jesus tells his disciples that it would soon be destroyed, that there would not be one stone left upon another, we can be sure that his disciples were deeply shaken. The sign of their faith, the sign of their nation, would all be taken away!

Now this gospel is not only about the temple of Jerusalem or Jews of the first century. It is about us. We are to see in the temple a sign of the good things in our life, the things that we care for, the things we take pride in, the things we have built by our hands. This gospel reminds us that those good and glorious things can be taken away.

We might have pride in our work, in the job we have performed well and faithfully for years, in the company that we built by our own ideas and efforts. And then, because of a mistake, someone’s dishonesty, or downsizing, our livelihood is taken away. We no longer have an income and work that gives us satisfaction.

We might take pride in the family we have built, in the wife or husband that we love, in the children we have raised. We feel blessed in the time and love that we have invested to make our families strong. And then by misunderstanding or divorce or death, the structure of our family is broken. The edifice that we worked so hard to build is undermined. Not one stone is left upon another.

We can justly take pride in the temple of our body. We tried to live well, eat healthy, and exercise. Then there is a surprising diagnosis and further tests and procedures. We realize that our health has been seriously compromised. Our energy, our mobility, our future is all violently thrown down.

We know that there is no guarantee that the good things in our life will always remain. The things that we love, the things we have built, the things we take pride in, like the temple in Jerusalem, can be lost. It is when we recognize this truth, that the words of Jesus become so important. Jesus tells us that when our life falls apart, God will not forget us. When the things we take pride in are destroyed, it is then time to place our pride in God’s faithfulness. When we feel alone and powerless, then we must believe that God’s power is real and active.

The most important line in the gospel is the last line where Jesus says “…by your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Perseverance means our ability to hold on, to trust in God’s care. We cannot always rebuild the good things in our life that are destroyed, but we can continue to live. The Jews were never able to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, but they continue to flourish as a people in our world today. So can we. When our life lies in ruins, then it is time to trust, then it is time to persevere, then it is time to hold on, believing that by the grace of God we can secure our lives.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options