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Our Work Matters

First Reading: Malachi 3:19-20A

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (cf. 9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

Gospel: Luke 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
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.”

NAB

nov13

The end of the liturgical year approaches, and in her wisdom, the Church reminds us of the end of times. This is a season of refocusing our lives and what we are doing with them.

In today’s Gospel, when Jesus spoke of His second coming, it caused many early Christians to believe that it would happen soon. Many of them stopped caring for the more practical parts of their lives. This is why we see Saint Paul reminding the people of the importance of work in the Second Reading.

What does this mean for you and for me? It means that while our eyes are on the prize of Heaven, our feet are planted here on Earth, and what we do here matters. Our work matters. Whether you’re in an office, a classroom, or in the home, your work carries weight.

When I was in school, being able to see the value of my work was easier. I loved what I was learning about. I enjoyed the challenge of researching and writing. It was work that felt important.

Now the majority of my work consists of making meals that don’t always get eaten, washing dishes several times a day, wiping noses and bottoms, and reading that one story about twenty-eight times every day. It can feel . . . mundane. As a stay-at-home mom, my work can also feel like it’s getting in the way of my relationship with God. It’s so much harder to wake up early to pray, to focus during mass, to think ahead and remember where we are in the liturgical year. I know that if I can refocus how I approach my work, and if I see it as an opportunity and not a burden, it can actually be something that brings me closer to God. My work becomes my prayer if I can glorify God in it.

So, sisters, as this season comes to a close, let’s refine and sanctify our work, whatever that might be, and refocus our vision on the goal of heaven.

Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.

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