Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Rita Raboin, SNDdeN

Nov 9, 2021 | Gospel Reflections

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Rita Raboin, SNDdeN

November 14, 2021

Mark 13: 24-32

“…But in those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light,…” how direct and how unsettling does the opening of this reading appears to be for us. Does it resonate with our present moment throughout the world at this time?

It is a reminder, if you will, that all is limited but we can anticipate an even better future before us. The Brazilians always say, even in the most challenging moments of their lives that “Hope is the last to die”.
Jesus does not say that directly to us here but He does say that the Son of man will come with great power and glory. Though we read in the context of the unknowable future timing, glory is somehow present or will be in our lives.

I found this text difficult to reflect upon but what encouraged me in my thinking and almost inevitable for me, is the gift of HOPE that Brazilians and so many of us refer to with a sense of alleviation and a deeper sense of peace. I wonder sometimes if we carry this with us as a valuable gift that we rely upon in spite of ourselves. It’s all so subtle at times. Simultaneously, some of us count on Hope all the time.
Though this text is eschatological in its nature, we are called to appreciate the inevitability of the inherent hope that resides therein.

From my own personal reading, I would like to refer to a quote by Mother Teresa of Calcutta that our Sister Noreen Morgan from California sent to us on Feb. 20, 2020.

“There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any hopelessness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then, suddenly the Spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”
Returning to verse 24, “…the moon will not give its light… at this time, however, I suspect that many of us could agree wholeheartedly with Mother Teresa today, in the here and now, what her heartening vision left for us to contemplate. She reminds us that there is a light now and we are blessed to live in the midst of this energy that ordinary people gift us with everyday with their extraordinary witness. They nourish us on our way as we journey to the Divine Light.




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 falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

“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.

“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. 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.

“But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

The Gospel of the Lord



Meet Sister Rita Raboin, SNDdeN

Rita was born in Boston and raised in Cambridge where she attended Notre Dame Schools and Cardinal Cushing High School in South Boston. In I962 she entered Notre Dame, and after teaching in Woburn and Salem, NH, was missioned to Brazil where she served for 36 years. Sister Rita returned to the United States in March 2018. She lives in Somerville and teaches English as a Second Language to diverse cultural groups. She will begin ESL with the people from Brazil at St. Anthony’s Parish in Somerville. She volunteers at St. Benedict’s Church in Somerville as well as with the Immigrant Service Unit of the City of Somerville. Sister Rita belongs to Pax Christi and participates in this peace movement with its agenda for non-violence and ongoing concern for and attention to immigrant issues.