HOMILY FOR THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (B)


I am sure you are all aware of the film ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘2012’. Both of these movies deal with the big issue of climate change and raise environmental concerns. It is the usual bad cop good cop scenario. Scientists in the movies raise concerns for the earth’s condition and that as inhabitants of the earth we may be facing a major disaster or indeed the end of the world as we have come to know it. Their concerns and research fall on deaf ears and are greeted with the attitude of ‘that won’t happen it if it does it will be years away and it won’t be my problem’. However, it does happen, disaster does strike, the world starts falling apart and there comes a fight for survival. Those who listen to the voice of those in authority and heed their warnings are the ones who inevitably survive and there is a happy ever after.

In our own world today and in the reality of life, climate change is a big issue and the lifestyle that we are living may be contributing to the end of the world as we know it. We too may choose to ignore that it is happening, but sometimes do you often wonder is it really coming to the world’s end when you see the extreme weather events that we have experienced in the past year. Look at our friends in California who after an extreme five-year drought have experienced terrible wildfires which has destroyed communities, properties, livelihoods and claimed people’s lives. Flooding in Venice and natural disasters which have happened over the continent in the last few months. Is it time to wake up and realise what is happening to our world?

This weekend we are in the second last Sunday of the church’s year. Next Sunday the feast of Christ the King sees the end of the church’s year. Our readings and gospel this year reflect that we are coming to the end of the church’s year. Jesus in the gospel today predicts and teaches about the end of the world. Jesus words are spoken to his disciples as he prepares them for his passion and death. Jesus words are spoken not to frighten his disciples, and nor should they frighten us.

This the month of November it is a very dark dreary month. The end of daylight saving and the onset of winter causes us to become aware of the changing seasons. November is a time when we remember our faithful departed. As Christians, this is always a prayerful remembering, keeping alive their memory in the presence of God. Remembering our departed loved ones before the Lord, praying for them, is how we express our ongoing communion with them. We believe that those who are gone ahead of us are with God, who is also with us on our journey of life. Our shared relationship with the Lord keeps us in communion with all who have died. In praying for them, we ask the Lord to give them the fullness of life.

This is our hope and consolation that even when the end times come we should have no fear. If we place our trust our hope in Jesus’ words and teachings rather than on some human thinking, then that is what we should place our belief in. Heaven and earth, he said pass away, but my words will not pass away.

As we remember our faithful departed in this the month of November we give thanks to God for their gift to us but also, we should be thankful for the gift of our own lives. It is a time to reflect on how we are living and what impact are we making on this world and are we really living life to the full? My dear friends, life is short and is for living as Jesus says as for the day nor the hour nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven nor the Son only the Father.

The people in the movies who failed to heed the warnings of the major disaster which threatened them may we heed Jesus’ warnings today, his voice of authority that he is the one through his passion and death has granted us salvation. It is inevitable there will be an end, and may we always be prepared because we don’t know when the day comes that we will have to account for our lives but if we have listened to the words of Jesus then we may have no fear. The "budding" of God's kingdom begins first in the hearts of those who are receptive to God's word. Those who trust in God's word will bear the fruits of his kingdom. We will arrive at new springtime a new life in God’s Kingdom.

"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may radiate the joy of your kingdom and the fire of your love to all I meet and serve. Direct my life to the glory of your name and to the coming of your kingdom."

‘Stay awake and stand ready you do not know the hour when the Son of Man is coming’

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