Homily November 18, 2012 Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today is the next to last Sunday in the Church’s Year. Traditionally, the year ends with a reminder of the end of the world and life on earth. The reading from Daniel and the gospel from Mark today both present an Apocalyptic presentation of the end of the world.
From Daniel’s description of a world in distress to the days of tribulation and darkening of the sun and moon, and all the power of heaven and nature shaken in Mark, the signs are of the end. Like a fig tree goes through its cycle, Jesus will be coming at the end of time’s cycle and waiting and calling out all to meet him. This second coming will bring about the end of the world and separate humankind into good and evil. Thus an end of time and the world and life as we know it.
Every generation since Christ’s time has seen and experienced many such extraordinary signs in a large world. Today because of our technology, these signs become more real and seeable to all of us. Some of the disasters may even have resulted from humanity’s own neglect of the world and its resources.
Each generation then has received similar signs from the world around us. History certainly has no record of Christ appearing and bringing an ending to heaven and earth, but certainly many of our sisters and brothers through the many centuries have died bring an end to their time. What that means is not easy for us to conceive. What we do know is that at time’s end we meet Christ and are either received by him or cast away. Beyond time as we know it we have no perception or conception except that we are in the hands of Christ.
Let us remember as Hebrews reminds us that it was Christ who gave himself one time for all time for the forgiveness of sin. He has in one act redeemed us so we can repent and give ourselves to him.
In the beauty of nature and in the natural calamities and earthquakes and storms of our times, we are called to remind ourselves that these are signs of our time, a reminder the world and ourselves are mortal and that we should meet each day as if there would be no other.
The end, the meeting of Jesus, death is not a fearful thing. Jesus’ life and death and resurrection was done to make our death into new life a joyful journey. It will bring us to a place in Jesus’ all-embracing love where no fears or anxieties exist. What more can any of us ask?