33B
Daniel 12:1-3 / Hebrews 10:11-14, 18 / Mark 13: 24-32

It’s that time of year again!!!

And no, I’m not talking about the
beginning of another UK Basketball Season. . .

Nor am I talking about now
being the time when we winterize our cars.

No, it’s something much more profound!!!

Right at the end of the liturgical season. . .

the next to last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. . .

the week right before the
Solemnity of Christ the King. . .

Every year. . .
on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. . .

the Church offers us a celebration
centered on the mystery of the end-time!!!

In those days. . .

In those days . . .

“Heaven and earth will pass away. . .
but my words. . .
my words”. . .
Says Jesus,
“will not pass away.”

This is one of my favorite
celebrations of the year. . .

You know why?

It’s because I’m a worrier.

It’s because some things really bother me. . .

They bother me a lot!!!

Maybe you’ve got some of this in you too?!?!?!

You know,
when Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount: (Chapter 6)

Can any of you. . .
by worrying. . .
add a single moment to your life-span?

When Jesus says:

Do not worry about tomorrow. . .
tomorrow will take care of itself.

I know what He’s saying!!!

I get it in my head!!!

But getting what He’s saying
from my head. . .
to my heart. . .

well, that’s a long and winding and difficult journey.

I do trust Jesus. . .

I promise I do!!!

I have given my life to Him. . .
but I still worry.

I worry about my elderly mom and dad. . .
and taking care of them like a Christian son should.

I worry about our parish. . .

I worry about you and the many different kinds of
challenges and trials you’re facing. . .

I worry about our students and
the difficult things they have to navigate
in today’s world. . .

It was so much easier when I was growing up.

I do worry!!!

And things bother me!!!

It bothers me that as long as I’ve
taken Christianity seriously. . .
I’m still so far away from being
who Jesus is calling me to be.

It bothers me every time I pass the
corner of Maxwell and Rose
and see so many people begging for food.

It’s such a complex problem. . .
with so many different variables that
cause poverty and isolation and homelessness.

The Corona Virus bothers me. . .
What a toll it has taken on the whole world. . .
And it’s not over yet!!!

The division and the venom and the anger
that seems to be the default mindset of the day!!!

Climate change bothers me!!!

That some people have so much. . .
and some have so little
bothers me. . .
And that the system is always
rigged against the poor.

The lack of dignity afforded to human life. . .
all human life. . .
from the unborn . . .
to the elderly.

From the poor. . .
to the marginalized.

That bothers me.

What things really bother you?

Well, when Mark wrote today’s Gospel. . .
the headlines in Jerusalem were just as bad.

There was a lot of worrying going on then too!!!

the Roman Army demolished the Jewish Temple. . .
and all of Jerusalem. . .

1.2 million Jewish people lost their lives.

The world. . .
as the Jewish people knew it. . .
was gone.

Was it the end?

Many thought so, I’m sure.

But Jesus said no. . .
This won’t be the end. . .

There will be end. . .

But don’t try to guess when it will be. . .

Even Jesus doesn’t know that answer. . .

Be ready, because one day

The Son of Man. . .
Jesus. . .
will come in the clouds
with great power and glory,

And the sun will be darkened. . .

and the moon will not give its light. . .

and the stars will fall from the sky.

All the powers of earth will be shaken. . .

and Jesus will be in complete control.

That’s why today. . .
the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary time. . .
is meant to be a celebration. . .

we look forward to the day when
Jesus will be in complete control.

And we’ll know for sure that
human life and human history
have a purpose. . .

that human history is not something of mere chance
left to the inanimate forces of the universe. . .

or left to the Darwinian forces of nature.

We’ll know for sure that
human history is not an endless cycle

where the same old human problems
keep repeating themselves over and over and over again.

We’ll know for sure that
human history has an Alpha and Omega. . .
a beginning and an end.

And it’s God who finishes history. . .

“The Creator of all. . .
is the completer of all.” (Fred Craddock)

And that the Alpha and the Omega. . .

That the Creator of all
and the Completer of all?

has a face . . .

the face of Jesus.

So the end for us is not something frightening. . .

But it’s something to welcome. . .
and pray for. . .

“Come, Lord Jesus”. . .

“Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done.”

A Kingdom where the entanglements
of our ambiguities. . .
and our mixed motives. . .
and our confused goals and contradictions
are untangled and straightened out.

A Kingdom where disparities and inequities disappear.

A Kingdom where love
and peace
and unity
are the governing principles of creation.

How can we not pray. . .
“Come Lord Jesus.”

How can we not pray. . .
“Thy Kingdom come. . .
Thy will be done. . .
on earth like it is in heaven.”

In those days. . .

In those days.

So what do we do in the meantime. . .
Besides pray?

While there are many things to worry about. . .

While there are many things as Christians
that should bother us. . .

we can’t forget that Kingdom is already present. . .

even if in an immature form.

So we look for the signs of the Kingdom already present. . .

and we rejoice in them. . .

because they are our assurances
that there more is to come.

And not only do we look for
the signs of the Kingdom already present. . .

we become the signs that
the Kingdom that is already present!!!

We become signs of hope. . .

We become signs of love
and peace
and unity!!!

And maybe then. . .
Our worry will be turned into resolve. . .

and our uncertainties will be turned
into a quiet confidence. . .

a calm celebration. . .

knowing that in “the End”. . .

“The Son of Man. . .
with great power and glory. . .

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.

Holy Spirit 11/13-14/2021