November 24, 2016
by Amy Badura-Brack
Creighton University's Psychology Departement
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 506

Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a
Psalms 100:1b-2, 3, 4, 5
Luke 21:20-28

Praying Ordinary Time

For those celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Preparing for Advent
Praying Advent Home Page

In the Gospel today, Luke is likely addressing a community who recently saw Jerusalem fall to the Romans, so they were fully aware of the horrors of war.  As a psychologist specializing in the effects of traumatic events including war, violence, and abuse, I have worked with people who deeply and personally understand feelings of desolation and despair. 

I know that when bad events happen, especially when bad things happen to us over and over again, we feel dismayed, afraid, and hopeless.   Our suffering may seem endless, and the potential to grow in the face of struggle – or even perhaps because of struggle – is inaccessible.  With dramatic language and fantastic images the readings offer a rally cry against hopelessness.  The gospel calls us out of our sadness, telling us that by surviving the struggle we have already won and we should stand proud.

I know that when we are in despair it is very hard to step out of our desolation.  With repeated struggle we naturally learn feelings of helplessness and are tempted to give up the fight.  But Jesus suggests that during those dark hours we should remember that we are strong.  We should stand proud in our resilience knowing that we have already survived what may have broken us.  Instead of languishing in hopelessness, we can put on a brave and courageous face as we face the future, reassured that God and others are with us.  In my work, sometimes people are so focused on the difficulties of the past, that they do not feel as if there is hope for the future.  If this feels familiar, be brave and realize your own strength because you have already survived the past.  Stand tall and face the future, held up by God’s love.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook