Daily Reflection for Friday, November 26 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
Today we offer you a reflection from parishioner and new writer, Kathy Cohenour. Welcome, Kathy!
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Daniel 7:2-14
Responsorial: Daniel 3:75-81
Gospel: Luke 21:29-33
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Luke 21: 31
Walking in the park on a day in mid-October I see the first red leaf, nestled in the still green grass. Fall is coming! As I read the readings for today, I wondered, “What are those things that are happening that Jesus says will be a sign to us that the kingdom of God is near?” The verses in yesterday’s Gospel are apocalyptic warnings of disaster and woes that will befall Jerusalem. The first readings for today from Daniel also paint a similar terrifying scene. How can these things lead us to the Kingdom and not to a place of despair?
Sometimes things have to be completely destroyed to make room for growth. Sequoia seeds will not germinate unless fire frees them from their cones. Without it they would never reach their potential to become the mighty trees that take our breath away with their majesty. Vatican II had to dismantle many old ideas about the structure of the Catholic Church to make room for more participation by lay people and to allow us to celebrate Mass in a language all could understand. Institutional racism had to be dragged into the spotlight and exposed for what it has done to our brothers and sisters of color to start a national conversation about this difficult topic and start to allow justice to roll down like a mighty river. (Amos 5:24). These things don’t happen without pain.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within us. He compares his word to a seed already planted there and waiting to spring to life. Sometimes our faith is tested by difficulties that feel like the destructive fire that frees the sequoia seed. This past year has been a difficult one for me with some major family challenges. Could we see the trials as opportunities to allow his word to germinate and allow us to be changed in ways we could not have imagined, would not have sought out, but which ultimately bring us closer to the radical dependence on God’s grace and mercy needed to enter His kingdom? Today’s psalm response asks us to, “Give glory and eternal praise to Him!” Could we do this because of the things that are going to come and transform us, not despite them?
On this day after Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks not only for all the blessings but also all the challenges that help us on the road to the Kingdom of God.