Stand Up and Raise Your Heads

Saints Andrew Dung-Lac and his Companions 

Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near”  [Luke 21:28]

Today’s Gospel is such an intense passage, and yet when I read it, I feel this wild determination rise within me.  The first part of this scripture lists disastrous events that will cause distress, fear, and foreboding.  However, this is not how the passage ends.  ‘When these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads.’   

We live in a world where we are bombarded with news of every disastrous event occurring across the globe.  Fear is used to sell stories, and every which way we turn, we are confronted with anxiety-inducing predictions of what’s to come.  Jesus, however, gives clear instructions on what we are to do in the face of fear.  We are called to stand up, not shrink back, go into hiding or build a bunker.  There is a strength he is calling us to as he tells us to raise our heads.  He is the one who defeated fear on the cross and filled us, by His Spirit, with an energetic living hope. That hope, along with the joy that accompanies it, the peace that surpasses understanding and the love that refuses to be outraged, are the surest ways that we can witness to the world.   

His promise and gift to us is redemption.  We are saved and free and get to share the good news in a world consumed by the bad.  Jesus, fill us anew today with hope, joy, and peace so that we can stand strong, look up and speak out words that will encourage the hearts of those around us. 


by Christine Da Costa

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