YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THERE WILL BE GREAT TRIBULATION THE TYPE NEVER HAD SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN
BY: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
READINGS: Daniel 12: 1-3, Ps 16, Heb. 10: 11-14, 18, Mark. 13: 24-32
The Church’s calendar comes to an end with next Sunday proclamation of Christ the Universal King. Prior to it, the Church presents to us the truth that sometime our own life would come to an end as the world time would. This brings the reality of our earthly temporality in focus and puts a right thinking person to deep reflection. It is good to ask the following questions: So it is true that sometime I shall leave this earth? When will my leaving this earth be and how will it be? What shall I face when that day comes and what events shall precede that day? This last question is what the Prophet Daniel and our Lord Jesus Christ answered in the first and gospel readings of today. The readings are very eschatological as they speak about the end time; the second coming of Christ to judge the people of the world.
Beloved, we have been hearing and reading from the scriptures and preachers that we should repent for the kingdom of God is close at hand. Many have lived decades hearing this yet no end has ever come. It is also true that God after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah promised not to destroy the world again with fire and water but never promised he will not destroy it through any other means or that he will not permit/allow the world to destroy itself. This is what seems to be happening now. The theme of today’s reflection is drawn from the words of the prophet and Christ in today’s readings. The prophet talks about that time when Michael the great prince shall arise to fight. That time shall be a time of great trouble such as never has been since the world came to be. It is going to be greater than the holocaust of Hiroshima and the Nagasaki, worse that the 11th September attack on US, more serious than the 25th December 2012 attack on Christians in Abuja Nigeria. It will be more shocking that the kidnapping of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria. It shall be worse than the earth quakes and floods in the world, name them. How did the victim-generations go through these events and think of what shall be more than any of these world disastrous events.
Beloved think of this as said by Jesus: The sun would be darkened and refuse to give light when it is supposed to. What of the night when the moon comes up and yet produces no brightness. The stars will be falling on humans and on earth, how will the world contain them? Powers in heaven will be shaken; the Son of man would send out the angels to gather his elect, and those whose names are written in the book of life shall be ransomed; the non-elect would be left to what fate? God uses other created things to inspire us to see well. The fig tree shades its leaves to signify end of season and looking forward to new beginning and new season, what do we learn from this? This generation would not pass away before all these things take place, yet Jesus said he does not know the day. How are we prepared to face this day that must surely come? The end of the world may be the day you cease to breathe and hang your head in death that may be your Sodom day. Do you have time to think of this day of tribulation? Why are you still living your life as if nothing is at stake?
Think of the event that would happen as recorded in the first reading that on that day many shall rise to everlasting salvation and others to everlasting destruction. This is not done at random or by luck and chance but by choice we have made while on earth now. The type of life we lead now will be our choice of place to go and the type of end that would befall us. Know that by your behaviour and attitude to the things of this world and things of heaven you are making a choice that no one can take away from you; your choice shall await you that day.
Preserve me Lord for in you I take refuge because you are my portion and cup. Lord may I keep the thoughts of you ever in my sight and help me to work towards writing my name in the book of life. May my body and soul rest in safety in you and may you not abandon my soul to hell nor let me taste corruption. May you show me the path of life and lead me to the fullness of joy in your presence so that I shall behold at your right hand bliss forever, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf