Homily for the thirty-third Sunday of the year - Year B - Mk. 13:24-32


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"But 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 heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.


"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.


"But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."





Homily:


"But 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 heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken."


Soon, in a little while, the Lord Jesus will return to earth to judge the living and the dead. What I say here is true: for Jesus can return to earth at any time. Jesus himself said: "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Does this frighten us? Why? Don't we have confidence in he who is to judge us? Isn't Jesus our advocate with the Father? Mary, his Mother and our Mother, is she not at his side to intercede on our behalf?


Now, at the end of the year 2000, let us revive our confidence in Jesus, our almighty Savior! Let us, we who believe in the Word of God, be confident that the Lord will do everything in order that we might appear before him and hear him say to us: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master." (Mt. 25:23) And also: "Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mt. 25:34)


Today, in this Sunday's Gospel, does Jesus not give us signs in order that, when he will come, we will be ready to welcome him? Is this not a sign of kindness and mercy? If the Lord had decided to punish us for all eternity, there is no doubt that he would return unexpectedly, without warning. But no. The Lord is good and he gives us signs which will announce his return: it is up to us to be watchful. If we are not, if we do not await him, then surely he will condemn us for all eternity...


"And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven."


"And then they will see the Son of man coming..." If Jesus returns to Israel or to Palestine (which is something one may reasonably suppose), it would be necessary for all men and women to be gathered together there in order for them to be able to see the Lord: "And then they WILL SEE the Son of man coming..." For Jesus, this would pose no problem: he is almighty and he can easily gather to himself all men and women; or, he could make himself visible to everyone, simultaneously, all over the world.


But there is something new today: television! This modern means, of our time and of the present moment, makes it possible to see, from everywhere in the world at the same time (within a few fractions of a second), whatever takes place at any location on earth. Moreover, the use of such a technique would confirm, in a certain sense, what Jesus said about the day and the hour: "But of that day or that hour no one knows... " Indeed, something which takes place in the Holy Land on December 27, 2000 at 7 o'clock in the morning will be seen in California on December 26, 2000 at approximately 9 o'clock in the evening...


"From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates."


"From the fig tree learn its lesson." Did the Lord mean by this that his return would take place during the summer? "As soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near." It is possible: this would probably be the case. Is Jesus not the Sun of Justice? Now, it is during the summer that the sun shines in all its brilliance and power. But, will it be summer in the Northern hemisphere or in the Southern hemisphere? Jesus gives us many signs, but at the same time, he leaves us in relative uncertainty, for the rule remains: "But of that day or that hour no one knows..."


"Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."


Each generation of men and women expects Jesus to return to earth. The first Christians awaited him with a firm hope (cf. 1 Thess. 4:17). Many generations were disappointed because this promise of the return of the Lord has not yet been fulfilled... Now, there will certainly be a generation of men and women who will see Jesus returning in his Glory at the end of time. This generation will ceaselessly shout, with the Psalmist: "I shall be satisfied with beholding thy form!" (Ps. 17:15) Will we be that generation? If we have confidence in Jesus the Savior, why not hope for it...


Mary is the Queen of the Angels! Already, in the communion of the Father, She prepares for the Return of her Son! Already, She awaits us and She watches over us, wishing with all her Love that all those to whom She gave birth in the faith will forever be with Her in Heaven! Let us have confidence in Mary! Let us ask her to take us by the hand to the Gates of eternity!



To order the weekly homily immediately, click here