Another Sunday Homily
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
18 Mark 13:24-32
November 18, 2012
The end of the year is just two weeks away. No, I’m haven’t flipped my lid. I know very well that the secular calendar year still has six weeks to go. I’m talking about the church year or “Liturgy Year” as we call it. The new liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent and that is just two weeks away. So, right now we are at the end of the year.
With that in mind, our readings speak of ‘End Times.’ When will the End Times come? We don’t know. There are people who try to predict the exact day. Just last year somebody issued their proclamation of when the “Rapture” was coming. I don’t remember the exact date they predicted but I do remember it was a Saturday night at 6 p.m. because when I finished Mass that evil, I reminded people about the prediction but said we had nothing to worry about because the prediction was for the “Rapture” not the final end and as Catholics we don’t believe in the Rapture so we have nothing to worry about! What makes us think about the End Times?
In the reading from Daniel, they were in a time of intense persecution and wondered if it could be the end. Wondering, they described the final end as ‘a time unsurpassed in distress.’ In their fear, God assures them by speaking of Michael the Archangel as our guardian.
In the gospel, Jesus speaks of the days after “that tribulation” and the Second Coming of the Son of Man. At the time Mark’s Gospel was written, the people were again facing a great persecution. The Temple would soon be destroyed and that could mean the End was coming.
When the End come?
Today in the news we hear of many natural disasters. Hurricanes like Sandy, flooding and droughts, and earthquakes. Sometimes it makes me wonder if the end is coming. It might really seem like it for the people affected by Sandy or any other of disasters. The truth is we don’t know when the End will come. Jesus tells us that it will come like a thief in the night; But of that day or hour, no one knows.”
The End will come and we will be judged. Some will live forever in Heaven while others might know an “everlasting horror and disgrace.” We don’t know when the End will time. It shouldn’t really make a difference. The early Christians after the Resurrection lived with an expectation that the Second Coming was going to happen very soon. Jesus say this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
Well, a lot of people have passed away since then and the Second Coming hasn’t happened. Jesus wasn’t wrong. He was speaking collectively of the ‘Christian generation’ from the time of Jesus’ First Coming to his Second Coming.
The End hasn’t come yet but many people have faced their own end in earthly death. The question we must ask is ‘are we ready?’ Are we ready for the Second Coming? Are we ready to face judgment at our own earthly death? How much time do we need to get ready? What does it mean to be ready?
Ideally, being ready means we will be without sin. Being ready means we are doing God’s Will. If only these was an easy as we would like.
What are you doing to prepare for the End? We should ask ourselves what do need to be doing to get ready. Are we putting any effort into getting ready? We could ask ourselves do we put more effort into getting ready for all the Christmas festivities or to getting our live in order for Jesus’ arrival.
As to our past sins, Jesus is dying to forgive our sins. That’s the sacrifice we celebrate in the Eucharist. We just need to confess and repent. Are we ready?
Thank you, Father Jeff, for reminding us of the true gospel. It is so easy to become misled or distracted, and I am grateful for your shepherd’s heart in bringing us back to the Truth.
Thank you. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.