The good news for the day November 13
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (159)
Jesus says “…Before all this happens people will grab you and mistreat you, hand you over to religious authorities and even prisons—and people will have you brought before supreme authorities and officials with powers of life and death—because your actions show you belong to my family. It will lead to your telling the truth. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense ahead of time; I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking, wisdom that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be rejected and restrained by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—they will put some of you to death. You will be hated generally because your actions show you belong to My family—but not a hair on your head will be ruined. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” (Luke 19)
When Jesus says: “People will put some of you to death” and then adds, “but not a hair of your head will be destroyed”—we know Jesus is using paradoxical language that you need to absorb as truth, and not just fact.
Because so many of us forget how to read poetry, we need little review—how to sift poetic words, pictures and stories for their intangible meanings—their truth, the insight that authentic poetry offers.
The poem here starts with the destruction of the “wicked”—as the Gospel writer had known about in the destruction of Jerusalem in his recent years–the 70s. Think Berlin after WWII, or Iraqi cities today—bodies, armed men, blood, conflagrations, and overwhelming political, social and cultural reversals of the way things have been—to the horror of reporters.
Jesus, reminding us about the “hair on our head,” is not talking at all about physical strands, but as part of your soul, heart, and mind—the part of yourself you don’t attend to. You are sustained by faith—wordless trust in God’s will, the view that whatever happens—even death—does not thwart you inside—your spirit, your quiet, your living within—your peace and even authentic joy—if you have a persevering—a deep-rooted—faith.