16 Nov 33rd Sunday
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
There are only two weeks before the beginning of a new Church Year. Can you believe it? Once more I encourage you to make time to prayerfully read the featured Gospel for the new liturgical year. In Year “C” we will begin the Gospel according to Luke.
As the liturgical year draws to an end, the church uses the Scriptures to turn the hearts and minds of her people to the life to come. How will we know when the end is coming? We do not know the day or the hour. But we know that in God’s own time, when light shines and triumphs over darkness, and when justice and love rules over all, then time as we know it will no longer matter and God’s second coming will be upon us.
Today, the Book of Daniel and Mark’s Gospel invite us into the apocalyptic mindset, a point of view that proclaims that the worst of times will give birth to the best of times. In today’s Gospel, Jesus prepares the people for bad news. He tells them that a great catastrophe is going to take place in their lifetime. History records that Jesus was talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. This catastrophe took place within 40 years of Jesus’ death. It brought an end to the Old Testament world as Jews of Jesus’ time knew it.
Jesus warns them that time and space will no longer make sense. The sun that tells the time, the moon that marks the seasons, and the stars by which humans can orient themselves, all those will falter. But Jesus says that will also be the sign that they should watch for the Son of Man coming in power and glory.
The apocalyptic description in Daniel and in Mark both drive home the same idea: A time really will come when the earthly order of things will be uprooted and gone. All the jockeying for power, control, popularity and “success,” even if achieved on a grandiose scale, will count for nothing if done only for personal gain or at the expense of others. Does Jesus say we should not try to be successful? No! But, in the effort to be successful we need to check our motivation, our means of getting there, and pray for the wisdom to do what is right with superfluous gains.
In the Gospel Jesus sets before us two sobering themes – the suddenness with which our life could end and our preparedness for that end. Life on earth is but a brief preparation for an eternal life to come. None of us knows when the end of our life on earth will come. Therefore, we must be prepared always.
This Sunday we will celebrate the Rite of Acceptance. This is a short ceremony in which we formally accept the members of the RCIA for probable continuation for full membership in the Church. God willing that will take place during the next Easter Vigil. Soon we will put their photos on display with the request that you pray for them in a special way. Pray too that we will all be visible signs of what a Catholic Christian should be!
Fr. Joe, the Staff and I pray that this will be a wonderful celebration for all!
Peace and Blessings!