Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: YOU HAVE A SECOND CHANCE!
By: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
(DANIEL 12:1-3; HEDREWS 10:11-14,18; MARK 13:24-32)
The readings of this day have an apocalyptic undertone. Our modern understanding of this word apocalypse is horror, but this is far from what the church intends in her choice of these readings. The modern tendency, is to approach apocalyptic literature with trepidation(fear), based on the assumption that it is predicting an ominous future. The modern sensibility, however, reads apocalyptic literature wrong. The real intent of today’s reading is to offer a source of renewed hope. To precisely decipher the reason for this choice, we must go to the context of these readings. An apocalypse is something that is a revelation, and it sends people racing in all different directions.
The Book of Daniel was written during a great persecution of the Jews a couple of centuries before Christ. It was then that finally the resurrection of those who remain true to the Lord was revealed. Also, it would do us well to remember where this powerful teaching by Jesus is in the context of Mark’s Gospel. Jesus is on his way to the cross where he will enter the chaos and the darkness of human existence, plunge into suffering and loneliness, and transform it by his self-giving love.
As the Church’s calendar comes to an end with next Sunday proclamation of Christ the Universal King. Prior to it, the Church presents us with the truth that one day our own life would come to an end. This brings the reality of our earthly temporality in focus and puts a right-thinking person to deep reflection. It is good to ask the following questions: Is it true that someday, I shall leave this earth? When will my leaving this earth be and how will it be? What shall I face when that day comes and what events shall precede that day?
Many people live in fear of the end of the world, the end of time, the great gathering of people by the Lord God. It is awesome to think that one day we shall all be gathered to the Lord with all who have gone before us and those who many come after us. The fear comes because there is always the possibility that I will not be counted among those who are chosen. And because we’re so used to ordinary life Monday through Friday, we kind of lose sight of the moving track of time and we ask ourselves how long this is going to last?
The apocalypse is not to be taken literally, but it’s only to be taken very seriously because of what it says to you and your heart and where you stand and where you’ll be, and it’s very clear if you think of it in terms of your own destiny. The good news is that there is still time to inscribe our names in this book. This is because, Christ our eternal high priest has already made it possible for us to do so. The most needful worry should be the nature of our relationship with God now, not when God would decide to click the eschatological button.
My brothers and sisters, the liturgy of this Sunday invites us to take a moment out of our busy schedules and worldly distractions to reflect on the end of our lives, not the end of the world which would happen when God decides. They are meant to make us think about the four last things which are inevitable – death, judgement, heaven, and hell. We are called to reflect on our own death and about what our ways of living here mean in terms of the life to come. If you are listening to me now, it means that your life has not stopped, and you have all the divine graces to make your end a deserving and glorious one. You have a second chance!
God bless you!
Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara
FOR A SIMILAR HOMILY, CLICK HERE>>>>