33rd Sunday O.T. (B)
THE 2ND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST:
HE WILL COME AGAIN TO JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD
We’re almost approaching the end of the liturgical cycle as we celebrate the penultimate Sunday of Ordinary Time. This is the reason why the readings of the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time present to us the 2nd coming, — glorious and definitive—, of Our Lord Jesus Christ, thus marking the end of the world and of its history, and the beginning of new heaven and new earth.
- In the Gospel, St. Mark 13:24–32) describes us how THE END OF THE WORLD will happen when Our Lord comes again to reunite his elect from the four winds:
Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
“And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky…Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
- His 2nd and definitive coming will save all those whose names are written in the book, as described to us by the 1st reading (Daniel 12:1–3) and THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BOTH GOOD AND EVIL, WILL OCCUR, each receiving his destiny already marked during the particular judgment: or eternal happiness or eternal damnation.
“At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian of your people; it shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time. At that time your people shall escape, everyone who is found written in the book.“ Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. “But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
- During this day, when Christ, who “offered one sacrifice for sins” and seats “forever at the right hand of God”, arrives in his glory, ALL HIS ENEMIES WILL BE PUT UNDER HIS FEET, as we see in the 2nd reading (Heb 10:11–14, 18), AND THUS, JUSTICE WILL FINALLY BE RESTORED.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God; now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool. For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated. Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.
Dear friends, Our Lord’s 2nd coming which is glorious and definitive, should spur us
- TO PERSEVERE IN THE FACE OF EVERY FORM OF ADVERSITY, SUFFERING AND DIFFICULTY WE ENCOUNTER IN OUR EARTHLY LIFE, enduring all the afflictions we face on earth while we live coherently according to our Catholic faith.
- OUR LORD WANTS US TO PUT OUR HOPE AND TRUST IN HIM, CONVINCED THAT IN THE END, INJUSTICE AND EVIL WILL NOT HAVE THE FINAL SAY BUT RATHER GOD’S JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his encyclical, “Spe salvi” nn. 43-44:
- “THERE IS A RESURRECTION OF THE FLESH. THERE IS JUSTICE. THERE IS AN ‘UNDOING’ OF PAST SUFFERING, A REPARATION THAT SETS THINGS RIGHT.” Pope Benedict XVI is “convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favor of faith in eternal life.” IT IS IMPOSSIBLE THAT THE “INJUSTICE OF HISTORY SHOULD BE THE FINAL WORD.” In God’s justice there is also grace. However, “grace does not cancel out justice…EVILDOERS, IN THE END, DO NOT SIT WITHOUT DISTINCTION BESIDE THEIR VICTIMS AT THE TABLE OF THE ETERNAL BANQUET, AS THOUGH NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.”
- Let us then FOSTER OUR HOPE IN GOD WHO IS LOVE, MERCY AND JUSTICE BY DILIGENTLY STRIVING DAILY TO LOVINGLY CARRY OUT HIS WILL, —our holiness, sanctification, identification with Our Lord Jesus Christ—, convinced that with God’s grace, all the good that we do and the evil we avoid, will finally have its recompense: the vision of God. “TO BE NEAR GOD IS MY HAPPINESS, TO PLACE MY HOPE IN GOD THE LORD (Communion Antiphon).”
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that what we offer in the sight of your majesty may obtain for us the grace of being devoted to you and gain us the prize of ever-living happiness.
(Prayer over the offerings)
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei, CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness. Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.
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PHOTO SOURCE: Giotto, “The Last Judgment” in http://www.wga.hu/art/g/giotto/padova/4lastjud/00view1.jpg