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Sunday, November 18, 2012

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33rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Daniel 12:1-3
Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
Mark 13:24-32

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stress management?

"It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time." —Daniel 12:1

Today it is popular to talk about "stress management" and being "stressed out." The times in which we live are very stressful. However, the end of the world will be much more stressful. "Those times will be more distressful than any between God's work of creation and now, and for all time to come" (Mk 13:19). The end-time will be more stressful than the atom bombings and concentration camps of World War II, than plagues, earthquakes, and other disasters. "Indeed, had the Lord not shortened the period, not a person would be saved. But for the sake of those He has chosen, He has shortened the days" (Mk 13:20). At the very end, even the strongest Christians will be pushed to their limits.

Why does the Lord tells us about the ultimate stress of the future? He is not trying to increase our stress in the present, but to prepare us for the future and make the present more peaceful. Jesus said: "I tell you all this that in Me you may find peace. You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). Jesus promised: "My peace is My gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful" (Jn 14:27). We deal with stress not by getting out of stressful circumstances, but by getting into Jesus. We don't manage stress; we let Jesus our Lord manage us.

Prayer:  Father, may I come to Jesus, take His yoke on me, and be refreshed (Mt 11:28-29).

Promise:  "Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins and took His seat forever at the right hand of God." —Heb 10:12

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus, Emmanuel, "God with us!" You became flesh and dwelt among us. Praise You for letting us see Your glory (Jn 1:14).

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012

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