Theme: Is my name in the Book of life?
By: Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese).
Homily for Sunday November 14 2021
Dan 12:1-3; Ps. 16:5, 8, 9-10.11 (R/. 1); Heb.10:11-14.18; Mark 13:24-32
Do we believe that nothing happens by chance? And that certain situations, no matter how seemingly negative they appear, might actually be doorways to salvation? If we don’t, we should. In today’s first reading from the 12th chapter of the Book of Daniel, verses one and following, God says to Daniel, Michael shall arise, at a time of great tribulation (we remember what the name Michael means? Who is like God? This brings to mind the song, “who is like unto Thee…”), and many people whose names are found written in the book shall be delivered. Those who sleep (that is the dead), shall rise, some to life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. But those who are wise (in the knowledge of God), and those who turn many to righteousness shall shine brightly.
This is the same narrative of the Gospel reading of today (Mark 13:24-32). The old order shall change. Jesus says, “In those days, after that [great] tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” It doesn’t end there. The angels of God shall then go out to gather the ELECT of the Lord from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven…
Dear friends in Christ, the year is coming to an end, Advent Season is around the corner, so quite naturally, our readings cast our minds back to the last days. The terrible day of the judgement. The End time, the moment of rapture. It doesn’t matter what we choose to call it. But just as Daniel is promised that there shall be deliverance at that time of tribulation, of the many whose names are found in the book of life because of their wisdom, so also we are assured in the second reading that Jesus himself has made the perfect sacrifice, to take away our sins, for by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
The ball therefore falls in our courts. Since no one knows the day or the hour, we must study times and seasons, and watch out for opportunities that lead to salvation. If God has loved us so much by predestining us for salvation, is it too much to offer our time and resources towards expanding his Kingdom here on earth?
Providentially dear friends, today is the Fifth World Day of the Poor, which was established by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Misera (Mercy with Misery), issued on 20 November 2016 to celebrate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. And for our reflection today the Holy Father reminds us that the poor will always be among us. Pope Francis reminds us, “If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor.” We must replace the culture of waste and indifference with the culture of genuine encounter.
I would like to conclude with a question, IS MY NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE?
Good morning dear. God bless your day ahead. Happy Sunday!