Thirty Third Sunday

17th November 2019  

God on our side

Mal 3.19-20; 2.Thess 3.7-12; Luke 21:5-19

With a General Election in sight, politicians of all hues are keen to show that their policies are believer-friendly, as several marginal constituencies up and down the country are sensitive to either the Christian vote, the Muslim vote or the Hindu vote.

So today’s scriptures are a gift for politicians wishing to curry favour with the faithful. Back in the 1980’s Mrs.Thatcher loved to quote today’s line from St.Paul: ‘He that will not work, then neither shall he eat’ (2 Thess 3.10)

And today’s warning from Malachi today about the fire that will burn up wrongdoers could be read as a prophecy about global warming or a shot across the bows about law and order (Mal 3.20) ... while Jesus’ gospel words about the destruction of Jerusalem is a gift for those who warn of the fragility of all nations (Luke 21.6).

But today the faithful followers of Jesus do not quarry the scriptures for eye-catching slogans. Our gospels are not a collection of sound bites!

Pope Francis has repeatedly given us pointers for what we should ask of our politicians: how are we reaching out to the marginalised? Do the poor have pride of place? Do refugees figure in our plans? Are we caring for the earth, our common home? And are we a voice for the voiceless? These questions seldom appear on the side of any party’s battlebus but they are the ones we should be asking.  

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