Saturday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
increase our eagerness to do your will
and help us to know the saving power of
You live and reign with the Father and the
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel reading - Luke 21,34-36
Jesus said to
his disciples: 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by
debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will come upon
you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come down on all those living on the
face of the earth.
praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen,
and to hold your ground before the Son of man.'
• We are
reaching the end of the long Apocalyptic Discourse and also getting to the end
of the ecclesiastical year. Jesus gives a last piece of advice, inviting us to
watch (Lk 21, 34-35) and to pray (Lk 21, 36).
• Luke 21,
34-35: Attention not to lose the critical conscience. “Watch yourselves or
your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of
life, and that day will come upon you unexpectedly, like a trap; for it will
come down on all those living on the face of the earth”. Jesus had already
given a similar advice when they asked him about the coming of the Kingdom (Lk
17, 20-21). He answers that the coming of the Kingdom will arrive like
lightening; unexpectedly, without previous warning. Persons must be attentive
and prepared always (Lk 17, 22-27). When the wait is very long, there is the
risk of not being attentive and of not paying attention to the events of life “the
hearts become coarsened by debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life”. Today
there are many distractions which render us insensitive and the propaganda can
even pervert in us the sense of life. Being far away from the suffering of so
many people in the world, we are not aware of the injustices which are
• Luke 21, 36: Prayer,
the source of a critical conscience and of hope. “Stay awake, praying at all
times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to hold your
ground before the Son of Man”. Constant prayer is quite an important means
so as not to lose the presence of spirit. We must deepen in our hearts the
knowledge, the awareness of God’s presence among us and, in this way, he gives
us the strength and the light to bear the bad days and to increase our hope.
• Summary of
the Apocalyptic Discourse (Lk 21, 5-36). We have spent five days, from
Tuesday to Saturday, meditating on and deepening the sense of the Apocalyptic
Discourse for our life. All the three Synoptic Gospels have this Discourse
of Jesus, each one in his own way. Let us try to see closely the version which
the Gospel of Luke offers us. Here we give a brief summary of what we have been
able to meditate during these five days.
The whole of the Apocalyptic Discourse is an attempt to help the persecuted communities
to place themselves in the general overall plan of God and in this way have
hope and courage to continue on the way. In the case of the Apocalyptic
Discourse of the Gospel of Luke, the persecuted communities were living in the
year 85. Jesus speaks in the year 33. His discourse describes the stages or the
signs of the realization of God’s plan. In all, there are eight signs and
periods of time of Jesus up to our time. Reading and interpreting his life in
the light of the signs given by Jesus, the communities discovered at what level
the execution of the plan was found. The first seven signs had taken place
already. They all belonged to the past. And especially in the 6th and 7th signs (persecution and destruction of Jerusalem) the
communities found the image or the mirror of that which was happening in their
present time. The following are the seven signs:
Introduction to the discourse (Lk 21, 5-7)
1st sign: the false Messiahs (Lk
2nd sign: war and revolutions
(Lk 21, 9);
3rd sign: nations which fight
against other nations, a kingdom against another kingdom (Lk 21, 10);
4th sign: earthquakes in
different places (Lk 21, 11);
5th sign: hunger, plagues and
signs in the sky (Lk 21, 11);
6th sign: persecution of
Christians and mission that they have to carry out (Lk 21, 12-19) + Mission
7th sign: destruction of
Jerusalem (Lk 21, 20-24)
Arriving at this
7th sign the communities conclude: “We are in the 6th and 7th signs.
And this is the more important question: “How much is lacking for the end?” Anyone
who is persecuted does not want to know or hear about a distant future. But he
wants to know if he will be alive the following day or if he will have the
strength to bear the persecution up to the following day. The response to this
disturbing question comes in the eighth sign.
changes in the sun and the moon (Lk 21, 25-26) they announce the coming of the Son
of Man (Lk 21, 27-28).
little is lacking, all is according to God’s plan, and all is like birth pangs.
God is with us. It is possible to bear all this. Let us try to give witness of
our faith in the Good News of Jesus
At the end, Jesus confirms everything with
his authority (Lk 21, 29-33).
4) Personal questions
• Jesus asks
that we watch so as not to allow ourselves to be surprised by facts or events. How
do I live this advice of Jesus?
warning of Jesus, at the end of the ecclesiastical year is this one: Watch
and pray at all times. How do I put into practice in my life this advice of
5) Concluding prayer
For Yahweh is a
a king greater
than all the gods.
In his power
are the depths of the earth,
the peaks of
the mountains are his;
the sea belongs to him, for he made it,
and the dry land, moulded by his hands. (Ps 95,3-5)