Picking Up The Pieces
Sermon Topic God: power of
Sermon Week Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture Summary Luke 21:19
The brilliant flute-player, James Galway, is admired by millions for his beautiful, sensitive music. He is admired also by those who know him for his courage in adversity. Once, after playing a concert in Switzerland, he was walking with friends to a restaurant just down the road from the concert hall. Hearing the roar of an approaching motorcycle, they moved quickly to the side of the road, but it was too late. The motorcycle ran into the little group. Three of them, including Galway, were seriously injured and taken to a hospital. Galway had both legs and an arm broken. Because the broken bones were not knitting properly, he had to remain in the hospital for months. And, after his release, it was a long time before he was able to play in public again -- in a wheelchair. James Galway's reaction to that terrifying experience speaks volumes for his courage, and his ability to "pick up the pieces." He said:
I decided that henceforward I would play every concert, cut every record, give every TV performance as if it were my last. The important thing is to make sure that every time I play the flute my performance will be as near perfection as God intended, and I shall not be remembered for a shoddy performance."
In today's Gospel Lesson, some of the people around Jesus speak in glowing terms about the beauty of the Temple in Jerusalem -- "how it was adorned with noble stones." The Temple is for those people a source of peace and contentment: such a magnificent sign of God's Presence; such a clear sign of their fidelity to Him. But the mood quickly changes as Jesus tries to prepare them for coming events. "As for these things that you see," Jesus says, "the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down" (Lk. 21:6). Imagine their distress as they contemplate Jesus' words about the destruction of the Temple: those precious stones and adornments thrown to the ground, broken into pieces. Jesus then tells [...]