Thirty-third Sunday
in Ordinary Time

A Homily - Cycle B - 2011-2012
by Fr. Luke Dundon

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First Reading - Daniel 12:1-3
Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Second Reading - Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel - Mark 13:24-32

Mark wrote to explain Christ
to the new Gentile converts.

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."

When the morning of September 29th came, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning.  I opened up the curtains, looked out at the beautiful day, and thought to myself, this day should last FOREVER!  Every minute just got better.  More and more people came onto this piece of welcoming land.  The sounds of laughter and joyful conversation only increased.  The smell of popcorn and international foods filled the air.  The sight of bingo players and rock climbers and auction bidders just made me want to soak it in for the rest of my time at St. Philip’s.  But alas, darkness did come, clean-up had to occur, the day did come to an end.

When the morning of October 28th came, I was like a little kid who had to go in to the doctor for a round of shots.  I was signed up for the Vocations Team for the Marine Corps Marathon, and that was the day of the big race.  A race to raise money for seminarians.  26.2 miles for our dear seminarians.  26.2 miles for our dear Deacon Thomas.  And a hurricane was hot on our trail.  With 26.2 miles and a thousand-mile wind storm coming, I just wanted that day to come and GO!  And go it did . . . the race came - - - it was a lot of fun, actually.  The storm eventually came . . . a lot of wind arrived, but it came and went . . . even in New York and New Jersey, the storm came and went.  And the people are re-building.  The tough times have passed, as they always seem to do!

In fact, ancient philosophers in Greece were captivated by this . . . all things pass with time.  Just when you think you have a moment in the palm of your hands, it falls through like sand sifting through the fingers.  ALL THINGS WILL pass . . . Jesus promises it today.  The temple in Jerusalem was meant to represent the entirely of the cosmos, such that when the chosen People worshipped Yahweh, all of creation was worshipping Yahweh.  Well, in 70 A.D., that representation of the cosmos was destroyed by the Romans.  The real cosmos will pass as well.  All things pass way.  At the end of the year, this claim by our Lord really helps to put things into healthy perspective.  While everything that takes place in our world is IMPORTANT, we cannot PUT anything of this world at the center of our hearts, we cannot hang onto it.  If we do, then at the end of all things, our hearts will be empty.  It all sifts through like sand . . . from the renovations we make to our homes, to the expansive beauty of the Atlantic Ocean to the grandeur of the Milky Way itself . . . And that’s not good enough!

In a world where everything changes and passes, we all want something which hangs on;  stays the same.  Something which we can always lean on.  Something which we can say with FULL and CONFIDENT FAITH, THIS will NEVER go away.  And there is something - - - words.  Perhaps the least expected constant in our universe.  Not just any words.  God’s Words.  In the midst of a world where the words of promises are questioned and predictions are uncertain, we are reminded today, this world itself exists because of a word.  God’s Word which is the face of Jesus Himself.  We open up Scripture throughout this Year of Faith.  If we make the effort to rest in the Word, then we will not be escaping reality . . . we will finally find it.  We’ll finally realize that His Word is what MAKES reality.  We were designed by this Word in the gospels.  When we open this book, we open the very Words that have given us existence – we are part of this story!  How beautiful it is, for it’s a story of love, these are words of love, and they’re WAITING to be read and received, so that we can finally LIVE like we’ve never lived before, we can finally discover who we are.  From the rising of the sun to its setting, we will NEVER pass away, we will NEVER sift through like the sand, for we will become eternal friends with the Word made Flesh. 

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