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Kerry WeberNovember 17, 2023
Photo from iStock.

A Reflection for the Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

Find today’s readings here.

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.

It is fitting that these end-times readings arrive while the days are growing shorter, the calendar year is coming to a close, and the liturgical year, too. Get ready, the earth seems to tell us, something new is coming.

Jesus also speaks of impending change, albeit with an ominous tone involving stories of fire and brimstone and disappearances and separations and vultures. The world will not be the same. It’s the sort of message that could easily provoke a sky-is-falling panic, but despite his harsh-sounding words, Jesus is asking us to trust. God’s Kingdom may not arrive in the way we expect or when we expect it. In fact, Jesus reminds the disciples just prior to this that “the kingdom of God is among you.”

We are urged to prepare, not by storing up but by letting go.

Yet still, we are urged to prepare, not by storing up but by letting go.

“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.”

So much of the Gospel’s topsy-turvy message comes to the fore in these end-times readings. The day that starts out in an ordinary fashion becomes extraordinary, becomes devastating, becomes joyous, becomes mournful, becomes hopeful. So hold on, and let go. Get up and labor in the field; lie down in the bed, and build and plant and look out for the fire and the brimstone and the beauty and the vultures and the end of the world and the coming of Christ who is on the way and already within.

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