Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

“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...” (Luke 21:12.)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“Jesus gives them clear and evident signs of the time when the consummation of the world draws near. He says that there will be wars, turmoil, famines and epidemics everywhere. There will be terrors from heaven and great signs. As another Evangelist says, “All the stars shall fall, and the heaven be rolled up like a scroll, and its powers will be shaken.”

In the middle of this, the Savior places what refers to the capture of Jerusalem. He mixes the accounts together in both parts of the narrative. Before all these things, he says, “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and to prisons and bringing you before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. This will be a witness to you.” Before the times of consummation, the land of the Jews was taken captive, and the Roman armies overran it. They burned the temple, overthrew their national government, and stopped the means for legal worship. They no longer had sacrifices, now that the temple was destroyed. The country of the Jews together with Jerusalem itself was totally laid waste. Before these things happened, they persecuted the blessed disciples. They imprisoned them and had a part in unendurable trials. They brought the disciples before judges and sent them to kings. Paul was sent to Rome to Caesar.

Christ promises, however, that he will deliver them certainly and completely. He says that a hair of your head will not perish.” (Commentary on Luke, Homily 139)

Stir up the will of Your faithful,
we pray, O Lord,
that, striving more eagerly
to bring Your divine work to fruitful completion,
they may receive in greater measure
the healing remedies Your kindness bestows.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen