Homily on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 18/11/2018

“But my words will not pass away” with these words of Jesus to his disciples we focus our Sunday’s reflection to the Church’s liturgical year B(II) which is coming to an end next Sunday the last Sunday in the liturgical calendar. As the church’s year draws to a close, the Gospel of Mark draws to its end with only three other chapters remaining. Mark is recalling two things: 1. The last action that Jesus is about to take will be very dramatic yet powerful.

  1. Our experience of the reality in the physical world should trigger our imagination and promote our self-expression.

Mark is able to capture these two thoughts and convey that message to us through vivid imagery of the “End Times”. The first reading and the Gospel were written to offer solace and encouragement to people facing temporal and spiritual crisis in very different times and circumstances. So the end for these people would mean experience of gladness, peace and comfort.

In the first reading, we listen to Prophet Daniel concluding the last of his four visions. He offers hope to the Jewish people who are facing persecution from a foreign king determined to stamp out their faith.

The Gospel sees Jesus preparing his disciples for the troubles they will soon witness as his ministry comes to an end. This is at the same time a message of hope to the Christians today who witness anxiety in this passing life.

What are the signs that draw us deeper into the wonder of Christ’s love for us? What are the signs that capture our imagination of God’s love for us? And what are the signs that give us hope in life?

In our churches we have a sign of the cross/crucifix that draws us deeper into God’s mystery of love and hope to redeem the lost me and you. Cross can also provoke our imagination on sufferings and we can long for their end. At the same time cross is not a tragedy but hope filled sign of resurrection.

The signs of bread and wine offer us joy and hope of salvation and our partaking in the heavenly table with the Lord. In these signs Christ the High priest offers himself to us as our sure hope and power. Baptismal fountain remains an enduring sign of rebirth into life in God and the life of the Spirit that thrives in us giving us hope and courage to call God “Abba’ Father!. All these signs become a bridge between what we live here and our “End” where they point to or reveal to us.

Can you recall/remember you baptism? What are signs the priest used? How do they speak to you today? What are the challenges have you gone through from your baptismal day until today? How are they affecting your life? Do these challenges make you experience God as powerful or slow, or defeatist?

Jesus continues to assure us that he is with us through his word until the ‘End”. The end should not be scaring but hopeful end bringing a new beginning and the life continues.

When you entered your matrimonial life can you remember the signs of love you experienced? The ending of your marriage and family life can be joyful and grace filled with Jesus Christ if you make his word endure in your hearts, family and life.

Jesus’ presence in our lives is powerfully experienced through his word and how we translate his word into our lives. The power of Christ transforms every tear into joy.

Joy and Peace