Gospel Reflections

33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 13:24-32

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Elizabeth Sichangi

Published: November 18, 2018

Read Mark 13:24-32

Jesus said to his disciples: "In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be... Read More…


Today is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, and the second-last Sunday in this liturgical year. As we approach the end of the Church year, the readings today speak to us about our own death and about the end of the world. They also speak about how to go on living when there is a lot of evil happening in the world.

Daniel in the first reading prophesies about the judgment of the last days. He speaks about the times in which there is great stress on the nations. There is reference to a time to come when some of those who sleep in the earth will rise to live forever. Others will be horror and disgrace. This type of literature is meant to make us think about the end times, about our own death and about what our ways of living here mean in terms of a life to come.

The second reading, Hebrews 10:11-14, 18, invites us to reflect on the fact that Jesus’ offering for sin has made us all to be consecrated perfect forever. Because Christ has died for us, we no longer need to fear hell at all.We can trust in His forgiveness. The challenge, of course, is to believe in and to love God and our neighbor. This encounter with God and neighbor takes place daily in our ordinary lives. Each day we can stop for a moment and simply take a look at our relationship with God and with anyone and everyone who has come into our lives.

In the gospel, Mark 13:24-32, brings us to look once again at the end of life and at the end of the world. Does that affect our lives? Jesus tells us that wise people are able to look at what happens around them and understand. These reading readings call us to reflect on the following:

Stock taking:  At the end of a Liturgical year, just like the end of civil year, and of course, the end of our own lives, we need to take stock. Where are we? Where are we headed? Heaven or hell? If the road we are on now leads to damnation, if the life we are leading now is evil-littered, if our hearts now are filled with hell attachments and attitudes, those self-worship egos, then, Christ invites us to encounter Him, long before the day of judgment, long before the hour and day…which is now, yes now. How many products in our hearts need to be thrown out because they have expired, and which ones need restocking? Your chance is today!

Eternity:  This concept is prominent in all the readings of today. Heaven is our home. For this reason, we should not read and reflect on these readings with fear and sadness, but rejoice at the thought of being inheritors of eternity. We are people of hope not of fear. If we fear it is because we have not yet met God, either in prayers, in others, in nature, in our conscience, or in the sacraments. If we have met Him, we know He is loving and full of mercy, and thus we cannot fear Him. We also rejoice in our freedom, and to learn how to use it well for living in this life and for living eternally. As we prepare for eternity, let us endeavor to take our brothers and sisters along, let us invite them through the example of our lives to the banquet prepared by the Father.

Lastly, whom are you listening to? We are daily bombarded with news, mostly negative news, to the extent of thinking that it is the end of the world. Jesus says do not listen to bad news that proclaims the end when they even do not know. He came to give us Good News, listen to that and let God’s will be done. What do your friends tell you about life? Do they encourage you, inspire you, give you hope? What of the media? Do you think it is time you evaluated the source of what you take to be true? We should not be deceived by the impact of the modern media. We should not allow ourselves to despair.  Christian faith is built on hope!  God is still in control of the world. God is still part of our history. And even amidst human frailty God still loves the world and takes care of it. For in every negative and depressing news, there is plenty of beautiful and great ones not reported. For this reason, Daniel says, “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3).

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