Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: THE END TIMES
By: Fr. Arthur Ntembula
Homily for Sunday November 14 2021
(Daniel 12:1-3, Hebrews 10:11-14.18 Mark 13:24-32)
We hear of many catastrophes and wars, deadly things like covid19 and other experiences that are unexplainable. It seems like all these things, put together, are enough reason for us to believe the end is near. In the first reading, prophet Daniel describes in some detail how the end will be. He talks about great wars that shall come, referring to Syria’s and Egypt’s attacks on Babylon, which shall result in the freedom of the Israelites, who are, at the time of the prophecy, held in exile by the Babylonians. In the gospel, Jesus also gives some details of the end times. He talks about how the sun will be darkened, how the moon will not be able to give out light again, how the stars will be falling and how powers of heavens will be shaken. He extends his speech to the imagery of a fig tree. As soon as it shades off its leaves, you immediately know that summer is near. Only after all this shall the Son of Man be seen coming down with great power and glory. However, Jesus concludes that nobody knows when exactly all this will be.
Many people in our history, both scientists and religious figures have tried to predict when the world will come to an end. Even now, when some people look at certain calamities that befall humankind like we have had the covid19 pandemic, you hear them exclaim, “now the end has come!” The truth is that many of us are worried about the end of the world because we are insecure. My brothers and sisters, when the scriptures are taken out of context and interpreted as such, what we create is panic rather than build faith. The books of Daniel and Revelations, and some parts in the gospels where Jesus talks about the end times have suffered misinterpretation gravely, thereby creating fear and insecurity in the lives of the people.
From the testimony of Jesus himself, it is clear that nobody knows when exactly the end will be. However, even though this be the case, we are sure of one thing that Jesus will definitely come back for the second time to separate the sheep from the goats. He says it himself in the gospels. How exactly that will be and when it will happen is a mystery that only God himself knows. Therefore, when we focus our attention on the day that the world will end, with all its details, we miss the opportunity of preparing for the final judgment. Let us leave the mysteries to God and focus on building our faith by loving him through our brothers and sisters. This is the only way to prepare for what we dread the most, Judgment Day. Will my name be found written in that book?
We shall be judged according to how we live our lives today. When we take care of our lives today by showing mercy, kindness, charity, giving hope to the hopeless, and serving like Jesus, then Jesus will count us among the sheep. Our names will be written in the book of life. The descriptions of the end times that we read about in the bible will not scare us anymore. Think of an exam: You are only afraid of it when you feel and are unprepared. We certainly cannot know how close we are to the end, but we are sure that whether close or not, the end is all the same coming. Now instead of worrying about when it will come, we should rather be concerned about how it will find us when it comes. We have to prepare ourselves for it.
ENJOY YOUR LITURGY
Fr. Arthur Ntembula