Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 14
May Our Faith Fill Us with an Everlasting Hope, a Hope Which Transcends Anything We Could Ever Possibly Imagine, a Hope Which Fills Us with a Deep Longing for a Better Life.
“You are my inheritance, O Lord!” – words which we repeat in today’s Responsorial Antiphon, words which speak of our faith and our dependency upon the indescribable wealth of God’s Infinite Love and Mercy!
What a wondrous faith with which you and I have been blessed! It is a faith which speaks of love – the love of God and love for each other. It is a faith which speaks to the heart of each one of us about the true value of suffering – for our suffering, no matter what form it may take, can help us to better understand how much God loves us.
For it was through the suffering which the Son of Man endured for our sake that we have now become co-heirs with Christ, as we stand with Him glorifying His Father for all eternity.
And ours is a faith which fills the heart with an everlasting hope – a hope which transcends anything we could ever possibly imagine here on Earth! Ours is a hope which fills us with a deep longing for a better life!
Ours is a hope which fills us with a longing for a better world – a world in which there is no more death or disease, a world in which there is no more hatred or wars, a world in which, as Isaiah the prophet wrote, where “The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.”
It is this hope of an everlasting peace, it is this hope of enduring love and the end to all suffering for which you and I yearn, for which we earnestly pray. It is all this, and so much more, that God is promising us with the coming of the “…new heavens and a new earth…”
Today, we are approaching the end of the liturgical year, as we celebrate the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King, and then we begin the celebration of the season of Advent the following week, as we start a new year in the life of the Church.
And as we begin to prepare ourselves for the time of Advent, when we begin to contemplate the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies relating to the First Coming of the promised Messiah, we begin to turn our attention today to another set of prophecies which speak of His Second Coming, an event which is yet to take place, an event in which all things will be made new.
At the end of each liturgical year, the Church has chosen Readings which help us to focus on the events which lead up to the awesome and glorious Second Coming of Christ, which we call the Parousia.
It is a time of fulfillment, a time in which God will call all peoples to judgment, a time in which, as we read from the Book of the Prophet Daniel, “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.”
But for those who have lived a righteous life, those who have lived a life focusing on what God asks of each of us in the days and nights we spend on this side of the eternal, we find in our First Reading, “…the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
I began my reflection today with a quote from today’s Responsorial Psalm, “You are my inheritance, O Lord!” And that is what God truly is – our inheritance! For He has freely chosen to make Himself known to us. And He has freely chosen to call each of us to know Him through His Divine Son, for He has called us to be a Christian people, a people whom God has mysteriously called to be His own!
For whatever reason, known only to God Himself, you and I have been given this gift of faith. For as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, “…by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.”
And it is through our Baptism that you and I have been consecrated to Christ. It is through our Baptism that each of us is called to be priest, prophet and king, living a holy life in imitation of the life of Jesus Christ – offering our prayers to God our Heavenly Father, speaking about and teaching the truths of our faith, and selflessly serving the needs of others.
If we were to take the time to truly reflect upon it, such a calling to become a member of the Body of Christ is truly a mystery. God, in His Infinite Wisdom and His unfathomable Love for each of His children, created us to come to know, love and serve Him, embracing His will for us in our everyday lives, thereby living with Him for all eternity, in which we give Him the glory that is rightfully His due.
Truly, “You are my inheritance, O Lord!” Sadly, however, there are many in the world who take this life for granted, with no attempt at understanding the immeasurable Love which God has for them.
As you and I reflect upon our own life of faith which we profess, are we able to answer the question of what our relationship with Jesus Christ is truly like? Is our heart open to whatever He may ask of you or me, or do we place limits on who we say we are – a Christian people – and on what we profess to believe?
We live in a world in which most countries have denied and rewritten God’s Laws – legitimizing the genocide of innocent life in a place which should be their safest possible environment – a mother’s womb! Also, throughout the world, many governments have openly recognized and have legalized same-sex marriages, undermining the dignity and sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, as was designed by God Himself!
And we live in a world today in which terrorism and hatred rules the hearts of many, a world in which Christians are persecuted and martyred, a world in which woman and children are enslaved for sexual perversities – all through a distorted and perverted understanding of God’s will. It was Pope Francis, himself, who once stated with great sadness filling his heart, “…to use the name of God to justify this path [of violence and hatred] is blasphemy.”
The Church has always spoken out in defense of what is the Natural Law – the mind of God concerning what is moral, ethical and just regarding human behavior. And for this, the Church, the Body of Christ, has come under constant attack. But Christ promised that the “gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
And for over two millennia, the Spirit of Truth has guided Christ’s Church through good times and bad. And for many of us in our own lifetime, we have seen the Spirit very much alive in all that we have witnessed since the days of the Second Vatican Council, for the Spirit is continuously renewing and revitalizing the Church as it reaches out to and evangelizes her many children throughout the world in many different ministries.
So whenever that last day shall be, whenever the Parousia shall actually occur, let us always keep our eyes focused on the relationship which you and I have forged and established with Jesus Christ, who is not only God the Son, but who is also our dearest and closest and most intimate Friend and Brother.
As we look to our Readings for today, they remind us to remain alert. They remind us that a day will come, sooner or later, when we will stand before the awesome Throne of God and be judged for all our thoughts, our words, our actions, and all that we failed to do but should have done. Each of us will experience that day, and none of us can escape it!
But as long as we keep our eyes focused on Jesus Christ, as long as you and I continue to forge that relationship with God in all that we do throughout our day-to-day activities, then, as we read from the Book of Daniel, we “shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament…”
For God will truly be our “inheritance” for all eternity!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, you are my Lord, you are my only good…fair to me indeed is my inheritance.” (Psalm 16:1-2, 6b)
- “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:11-12)
- “Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” (James 2:5)
- “For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated.” (Hebrews 10:14)
- “Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.” (Isaiah 11:5-6)
- “But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:13)
- “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace. But those with insight shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.” (Daniel 12:2-3)
- “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” (Mark 13:26-27)
- “You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Psalm 16:11)
- “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates.” (Mark 13:28-29)
- “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Mark 13:30-31)
- “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them as their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.’ The one who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” (Revelation 21:3-5a)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly and Eternal Father,cf. LOH Concluding Prayer (Solemnity of Christ the King)
You break the power of evil
And make all things new
Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe,
Lord and Savior and Just Judge of all mankind.
“May all the angelic hosts in Heaven
And all Your children on Earth acclaim Your Holiness
And never cease to praise the wonders of Your Glory.
“We offer this prayer through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.”