33rd Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time.
“But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.” Mark 13:32
Over the past few weeks, in the weekday Gospel readings and the Sunday readings and Gospels at Mass, there has been teaching and healing theme running through them from Jesus and from the selected readings which complement the Gospel readings.
The readings for this week have a distinctly apocalyptic feel and theme to them. As we stand at the end of the Church Year and look forward with hope and expectation into the new Year which begins with the joyful season of Advent, we are faced with the coming again of the Son of Man (Jesus the Messiah) to earth to gather His faithful ones to live with Him for ever in Heaven, to bring His judgment and establish His rule on earth and in Heaven as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
During the Month of November, as well as remembering the Saints in heaven, our loved ones who have died and all those who have suffered and died as a result of war and conflict we countdown towards the final week of the Church’s year and the beginning of the Season of Advent. At this time of year we are to also contemplate the “Four Last Things” which the Church recognises as Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. In the light of the approaching Season of Advent we are asked to reflect upon our own lives and how we live them out. How we choose to live will affect what happens to us at death when we come to judgement ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.’ 2 Corinthians 5:10.
We MUST appear before the Judgment seat of Christ but we need to remember that our Judge is also the King of Love and our Saviour, who loves us more than we could ever hope for or imagine. Jesus loves us so much that although He was and is Almighty God, He chose to be born as a man and suffer death upon the Cross. Jesus shed His Blood for us and we belong to Him – if we choose to follow Him and allow His Rule to guide our lives.
As we approach the joyful, yet penitential Season of Advent, we prepare our hearts, minds and lives to welcome again the Birth of Our Saviour, Jesus. We remember His First Coming to earth as our Saviour, when He, the Light of the World came into our dark world to show us the way back to the Father. We prepare our hearts with prayer, good works and merciful deeds for His Second and glorious Coming when He will come and establish His Kingdom and be our Judge.
Next Sunday, 25th November will be the Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe. This will be the last Sunday before Advent. Here are some reflections as we prepare for this over the next few days.
The Lord our God comes with great power and glory to save us.
May we prepare our hearts worthily for His First Coming to us and look forward to His Second Coming at the end of all things.
May the Lord Jesus shine the light of His glory upon us.
May Christ the Lord, the King of kings and Lord of lords gather His chosen ones into the barn of His heavenly kingdom and grant them everlasting life with Him.
May the Lord Jesus, the Only Son of the Eternal Father, The Word made flesh for us, speak His Word to us, His words that will never pass away.
Prayer: Lord our God, our hope is in you. Stir our hearts and rouse them from sleep by the power of Your Holy and life-giving Spirit so we may stay awake, ready to meet the Son of Man in His coming and stand before Him with confidence and strength. In the Name of Christ we pray, Amen.