November 29, 2017 Wednesday in the last week of the Church Year

“You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives. (The ending of today’s Holy Gospel according to St. Luke)

 The above quote from today’s Holy Gospel reminds me of the Israelites journey to the Promised Land when they come up upon the sea, which they would have to cross. At first they grumble against Moses for bringing them all the way out there in the desert only to be blocked by a huge body of water. Moses quotes God and says, “Stand firm! Fear not! You will see what God will do to save you.” (Exodus 14:13-14)

 In the account of the three young men held captive in Babylon that we’ve been hearing in these days note that Daniel did not run away or turn from the reality of the problem that was before him. He stood firm in his belief the God would take care of him and his trust and belief eventually led him out of captivity.

Most of us, when faced with some difficulty or problem, take the first exit to get away from whatever is causing us problems.

Yet today’s Holy Gospel ends with these words of Jesus, “not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke 21:19)

 These words, which come at the end of today’s Holy Gospel, resonate with the story of the Kings banquet that we hear in the first scripture reading from the Book of Daniel. In fact, this story has given us a popular phrase that has entered into common jargon: “Can’t you read the handwriting on the wall?

Scott Peck, in his book “The Road Less Travelled,” begins with the line, “Life is difficult. That’s a given. Accept that premise and keep going.” Whatever you do … don’t run away. Remember, Jesus promises to “be with us until the end of time.” (Matthew 28:20)

Sometimes we need a little help and we might have to accept the advice of someone wiser than ourselves. But what we don’t want to do is give up. Amen!

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