Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Mk 13:31)
This week which prepares us for the feast of Christ the King next Sunday, and the final days of this liturgical year, calls us to remember that we are made for eternal happiness with the Lord. Today we ask God for the grace to always rejoice in devotedness to Him, because lasting and full is the blessedness of those who serve the Creator of every good. In general, philosophers have thought that you can’t really be happy if you are always worried about losing something. The joy that comes from having an excess of money or possessions only lasts as long as they do, and even then such pleasure is tainted by the concern “But what if…” On the contrary, for those who possess God, or rather, for the people whom God calls his own, there is no worry about losing God, since He is Eternal. Those whom the Lord calls to His embrace He does not call for a momentary, but for perpetual joy.
So, how are we to hear today’s readings about the tribulation associated with the end of time? On the one hand we can read the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars like Bede the Venerable does. St. Bede wrote that when Christ comes in the brightness of His glory He will so outshine the stars and the sun that they will seem dark in comparison. This is a rather consoling interpretation of an otherwise frightening Gospel. But what does Bede point us to? His reading of the end of time reminds us that we are to always remember that Christ who will come again to judge the living and the dead will be brighter than every light, and better than any good we can think of. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to believe in Him as greater than all else right now, so that we may rejoice in Him as greater than all things when He comes on the last day. Let us savor the words of Jesus and let them prepare us for that day.