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33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Dear OLPH Family and Friends,

Only one more week to the end of this Church Year and the Feast of Christ the King!    Only two more weeks to the beginning of the new Church Year with the First Sunday of Advent! Next week after the Sunday Masses I will go up to the Abbey (my favorite hide away) to practice what I preach; i.e. spend some time with the principal Gospel of the New Year.   We will be hearing from Matthew most Sundays.   Please do yourselves a favor and make the time to review study and pray the Gospel of Matthew!

As the liturgical year nears its end, the readings highlight the Last Judgment and foreshadow Christ’s coming. Specifically, Jesus foretells the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem – an event that took place forty years later, when Roman armies attacked Jerusalem and completely destroyed the Temple.  For Jews, the destruction of the Temple was the equivalent of the end of the world.  The Church wants us to reflect on the day when the world will also draw to a close and Jesus will return in final glory.

There is and almost always been talk about the end of the world.  Today this is especially true when we talk of Climate Change, depletion of the Ozone layer, the fires in the Amazon, , floods, melting of the Artic Cap, etc.  All this talk about doomsday has led many to predict that the end of the world is near at hand.  In the process of foretelling the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, Jesus refers to the fact that He will return at the end of the world.  Jesus says “see that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying….’the time has come. ’Do not follow them!”

Today’s Gospel invites us to reflect on the end of the world, all right.   But it invites us to do so within an atmosphere of Christian commitment and Christian confidence.  By an atmosphere of commitment we refer to Jesus’ teaching that we should use our talents and resources for the purposes of God’s Kingdom on earth.   By an atmosphere of Christian confidence, we mean by what Jesus talks about today when He says “I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute…Not a hair on your head will be destroyed.”  We have the assurance of Jesus Himself that if we remain united to him, we will be victorious.  Nothing will defeat us.

Today we celebrate the Rite of Acceptance at the 9 am Mass.  This is a celebration of those who have made the commitment to continue their study, search and prayer towards the Easter Vigil wherein they will receive the Sacraments of Initiation.   We will soon post their photos at the front of the Church and ask you to place them at the center of your prayer.  What God has begun in them, may He bring to completion!

May God bless, preserve and keep us always in His warm embrace!

Fr. Ron