Make the right choice
By Rev Joachim Hernandez
Next Sunday (November 20) is Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. As we approach the end of this period, the Church in its wisdom presents us this rich, fully loaded passage from St Luke.
This passage challenges us to consider our final destiny when making our choices today. It challenges us to remember that our time in this world is temporary while also promising us eternal life.
The people who were around Jesus were in awe of the beauty and majesty of the Temple at Jerusalem. To most of the Jewish people it was indestructible, built to last forever, the centre of their worship.
Jesus, however, foretold of its destruction, “not a single stone will be left on another, everything will be destroyed”, He said.
It turns out that Jesus was right. The city and the temple were destroyed in an attack on Jerusalem by the Romans during the Jewish rebellion in 70AD. This may have seemed as the end of the world as the Jewish people knew it, but followers of Jesus made choices to trust in Him and to faithfully stay grounded in the truth in the throes of adversity and persecution. They endured and stood on His promise, some even unto death.
Witnessing to the truth is not easy because it is unbearable to many people, and it can be divisive. Yet, Jesus tells us to persevere to secure a place in His kingdom. We should never be afraid to choose to do what is right, even when doing so may lead to persecution by family and friends or being blacklisted by those whom we love dearly.
Every day, we impact our future by the choices and the daily decisions we make. We can choose to end the things in our life that promote discord and disunity. We can choose to end our behaviours and actions that contribute to negative encounters. We can choose to end witnessing from our comfort zones.
Today, we have an opportunity to choose what will bring us life and spread the love of God through our witness of Jesus in our homes, communities, churches and beyond. Jesus Himself says it is not easy.
Jesus is reminding us of the cost of following Him. It might be easy to talk the talk but to walk the talk we will need the Holy Spirit to guide us. He knows that as witnesses of His truth, we will encounter opposition and persecution. Our very witness though, is what will ‘win us our lives’ in eternal glory.
God sees everything. He knows even the smallest act of kindness that you do. Persevere to always seek to do His will in all circumstances and situations. That is what it means to endure, so hold firm to prayer, hold firm to your acts of faith, hold firm to the traditions of the Church, hold firm to Jesus’ promise that “your endurance will win you your life”.
Rev Joachim Hernandez is a married father of two daughters and a retired soldier. He was ordained to the permanent diaconate on January 22, 2022, and serves the Santa Rosa/Malabar Cluster, Arima.