November 18, 2012 – Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dn 12:1-3; Ps 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Mk 13:24-32
Today’s readings draw our attention to the end of the world and to the final judgment.
“At that time… Many of those who sleep in the dust shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror or 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” (first readings).
Often when we think of death and the afterlife we find ourselves scared because so much of it is unknown. How and when our own death will happen or, for that matter, when the world as we know it will end, scripture tells us, “But of the day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (gospel).
Yet there is no reason that such uncertainty should cause us any anxiety. Rather, readings like those we hear today ought simply to remind us that we were not made to live life on Earth forever. We were made to live in perfect unity with God in eternal glory. The world that we now live in will one day pass away, and when it does, we will look our maker face-to-face. It is truly an exciting reality, one that we ought to look forward to rather than dread.
When we reflect on today’s readings and the inevitability of death, we should focus on how we’ve lived the lives we have been given, how we live today and how we want to continue to live this earthly life.
“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man” (gospel acclamation).
We were not made for this world, but we were put here for a reason. We are still here for a reason. God wants us to be His hands and feet on the earth, to spread His love, His joy, His truth, to bring others to Him, to aid others in their walk with Christ and to grow closer to Christ ourselves. We have a mission here and now, and it is a noble one. It is a vital one. If we are to call ourselves Christian disciples and if we are to live our call of discipleship through the stewardship way of life, then we must give all we have – our time, our talents, and our treasure back to God in gratitude for the lives He has given us and use our lives for His greater glory, helping others encounter Christ through our words and actions.
If we live this way, if we live for Christ, giving our all to serve Him, then our face-to-face meeting with God will not have one inkling of a scary moment. It will be the most amazing moment of our lives as God can look us in the face pleased with how we’ve lived, pleased with what we done with the gifts He has given us. To have such a meeting, that should be our goal here and now. That should be our focus as we reflect on the readings today.
How are we using the gifts God has given us? Are we truly appreciating them as gifts from God and using them as such? For that is what we are called to do as Christian disciples today