33rd Sunday Ordinary Time 2013

Scripture readings for Sunday's Mass are here.

Reflections on the various readings from St Louis Centre from here.

My previous reflections for this Sunday's readings are here.

A reflection from the Girardian lectionary here.

First reading from Malachi 3: 19-20

 "Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.

John Martin -The Great Day of His Wrath 1851-3 Source

But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Extract from Gospel Luke 21 : 5-19

You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

           Longing......... Waiting............... Believing ............

The Holy Spirit is given
so we can be in a measure 
what Jesus himself was, 
part of God’s future
arriving in the present. 
The Holy Spirit comes
from the world that is waiting to be born.
 Tom Wright

Understanding the Apocalypse - the extract below is from an article by the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini. Complete article here.
"This brings me to reflect on the word "apocalyptic" and how it relates to the new millennium. We know that turning points in history have been occasions for some to enter into an apocalyptic mode of thinking. Scholars differ among themselves as to what the word "apocalyptic" means, though most agree that in Greek it refers to a type of revelation, as when one removes a veil from an object.

We have at least a general familiarity with apocalyptic, based on our reading of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. By apocalyptic is meant a kind of uneasiness with the world, a deep dissatisfaction with the present state of things, as well as a hope that things may change suddenly through a great event—not so much a change brought about by the work of human hands, but through a great intervention of some higher forces. 
 Apocalyptic thinkers anticipate something completely new coming from above that will change the course of history, though they are never sure of what or when this change will actually occur. Such revelation is generally thought to be transmitted by some higher being to a prophet, often communicated in a cryptic language that only some people can understand.
Apocalypticism has to do with hope and fear—hope for the future, fear for the end of history. It has to do with the expectation of the beginning of a new era. 

And our present age is full of apocalyptic predictions, many of them from the founders of different sects who proclaim the end of the world is near, or not far off. It might surprise you, but I sometimes receive dire letters giving me such predictions.
 Just think of all those preoccupied by speculations about "the third secret of Fatima"! What does it contain? 

Many claim that it predicts a great catastrophe. And who can totally refute such thinking, when, in addition to the Book of Revelation, examples of apocalyptic language can be found in other parts of the New Testament.The first two chapters of Lukes Gospel contain a counting of days that recalls the count of years from the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem up to the restoration of the temple. In Jeremiah 25, we are told the restoration will take place 70 years after its destruction. In Daniel 8 and 9, however, the angel Gabriel announces to Daniel that the temple will be restored after 70 weeks of years, that is, after 490 years. 

If we count the days from Gabriel's annunciation to Zechariah, the real beginning of Luke's Gospel, up to the presentation of the child Jesus in the temple, the number of days is exactly 490. 
This is Luke's cryptic way of saying the same as Daniel did: We are dealing with the end time; but for Luke the days of Jesus are the final days of history. But note, in Luke's Gospel these days are infused with a Spirit of joy, courage and hope, not with the fear and anxiety of most apocalyptic predictions. Everything in these two chapters is full of joy, full of hope.

Christian apocalyptic predictions are not meant, therefore, to provide us with the exact day and the hour of the end of the world. 

They intend, rather, to affirm that with Jesus we have entered the final stage of history, the age of our salvation. If one were to ask then, are these hours at the end of the millennium the final days of history, we can only answer yes, since, with the coming of Jesus Christ, these are the final days, the days of our salvation.

For some, changing the calendar year from 1999 to 2000 has little religious significance; but for believers such a change signals a desire to renew hope and courage, according to the apocalyptic dimension of the Gospels.

 We should not expect some big change in human history as we celebrate the new millennium. The year 2001 will not offer significant differences, other than a chance to seek essentials, to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to regain an awareness of the great and essential change in human history brought forth by the coming of Jesus Christ. 

Yes, changes will occur, since we live daily in this change; every prayer well uttered is this change; every act of love is this change—all brought about by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The meaning of things has been changed. Every moment, this present moment, brings with it the presence of a new humanity, and we can look at everything in a different way. 

We can work for justice and love with a certainty that justice and love shall prevail, assured that it is already in the present order of things.
In the kingdom of God, the days of forgiveness and love have begun and this order shall be forever. Gods glory shall be revealed day after day."


Thy Kingdom come, O God,
Thy rule, O Christ, begin;
Break with Thine iron rod
The tyrannies of sin.

Where is Thy reign of peace,
And purity, and love?

When shall all hatred cease,
As in the realms above?

When comes the promised time
That war shall be no more—
Oppression, lust, and crime,
Shall flee Thy face before?

We pray Thee, Lord, arise,
And come in Thy great might;
Revive our longing eyes,
Which languish for Thy sight.

Men scorn Thy sacred Name,
And wolves devour Thy fold;
By many deeds of shame
We learn that love grows cold.

O’er heathen lands afar
Thick darkness broodeth yet:
Arise, O Morning Star,
Arise, and never set!

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