My words will not pass away

In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses dramatic language. He tells his disciples of a time when the sun and moon will go dark, and the stars will fall from heaven. He is warning them of ‘a time of distress’ to come, when they will be persecuted for their faith in him. Their world will be turned upside down. Jesus calls on the disciples to keep on believing in him, even when the time of distress comes; ‘Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will not pass away.’ And he reminds them that God the Father is in control of human history. At the end of time, Jesus, the Son of God, will return in glory; but only God knows when that day will come.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, his disciples were persecuted, just as he foretold, and some gave their lives for their belief in him. But they held firmly to their faith. When we face our own times of distress, we may feel powerless, as our lives are turned upside down by events outside our control. The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel remind us that we have put our faith in God, whose power is greater than all the powers of this world. God is very near to us in the times of distress.

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