THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
HOMILY THEME: REST IN GOD
BY: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Our live as Christians is a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage that is inspired from our encounter with God our Creator and in Christ Jesus our Redeemer through the santifying power and presence of the Holy Spirit. The true goal of this pilgrimage is to return back to God from where all things have their origin, in this lay the true end and the full realization of the created order. May our end be a glorious participation in the group of the chosen sons and daughters of God; Amen.
As the Liturgical Year gradually draws to a close, the Church in her wisdom draws our minds and attention to the last things, to the end. From the First Reading (Dan 12:1-3), we read part of the apocalyptic writings of the Prophet Daniel about the end of time and how God would come to reward all according to their merits; “when that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book.” In the Gospel Reading (Mk 13:24-32), our Lord Jesus Christ, in an apocalyptic tone, expounded the same line of thought to His disciples and to all of us on the reality of the end and on the certitude of it occurrence; “in those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then too He will send the angels to gather His chosen from the four wnds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.”
The end is a reality that everybody must experience. Sometimes we are carried away by the busy nature of life and the constant inflow of activity that we forget to think about the end, not just as a community of persons, the Family of God, but also as individuals. Irrespective of how long and well we wish to live, one sure thing is that the end will surely come, to us as individuals and collectively at the final judgement. What is our preparation for this end? It is an illusion to prepare for this end as if it depends on us to decide where, when and how. It is God’s prerogative to do so! Ours is to make the constant and daily effort, assisted by the grace of God, to be ready at all times, because “as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father” (Mk 13:24-32). Making plans for the end involves embracing the great fruits and merits of the One Priesthood of Christ and living them out concretely on a daily basis for “by virtue of that one single offering, He has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom He is sanctifying” (Heb 10:11-14, 18). The Priesthood that was lived and exercised concretely amongst us in Christ’s Paschal Mysteries and that is succinctly and effectively relived and codified for us in the sacraments and other celebrations of the Church, the Body of Christ. This Priest is the God and Master of history, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, hence He knows how best to lead us through history and subsequently to lead us to a happy and fulfilling and blissful end! To follow our Master through history to the end, we must actively and sincerely receive the sacraments and live the effects of our reception of them for they are sure means to our true end.
May God illumine our hearts and minds and paths as we progressively journey towards Him Who made us for our hearts are restless until they rest in God; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE