Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
1) Dn 12:1-3
Psalm 16:5, 8-11
2) Heb 10:11-14, 18
Gospel: Mk 13:24-32
Family feuds often revolve around inheritance. Decisions on who inherits family property and possessions bring out the best and the worst in family relationships. One hears of siblings with strong family bonds who are torn apart by inheritance disputes, while other families draw closer together to make amicable decisions to share inherited family possessions.
Psalm 16, today’s responsorial prayer, invites our reflection as the church’s liturgical year draws to a close in coming weeks. God’s word calls us to pause in the midst of the hectic pace of these days and weeks and turn to the things that are above. We are reminded that before we choose to make room for God in our busy lives, it is God who chooses us and gives us the gift of life itself.
In fact, God chooses to give us himself as an inheritance! Faith is a marvelous gift that we are given as our spiritual inheritance. To receive the gift of faith means that God looks on each of us as special in his eyes. So in faith we join in the grateful prayer of the psalmist who says, “You are my inheritance, O Lord!”
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of periods when great signs and wonders are to be revealed at the end of time. And to prevent his disciples from getting worried and being consumed with anxiety Jesus reminds the disciples that no one, not even he, knows the day or the hour of the end of time.
Only God, Father and creator of heaven and earth, who is not only the source of all that exists but is existence itself, knows. This teaching of Jesus brought the disciples peace of mind and heart. Jesus desires to give each of us that same peace today.
We turn to God’s word to draw strength and wisdom for daily life. In God’s word we find the consolation, comfort and peace we need for everyday situations and decisions. There is a permanence and certainty in God’s word that cannot be found elsewhere. This is the meaning of Jesus’ words to his disciples and to us: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to place my faith and hope in that which will not pass away. I want to place my trust in God’s word because it is will endure beyond heaven and earth. God’s word is eternal and it will surely carry us into the eternal love that God desires for each of us.
Will we remain close to God’s word? For the wisdom to recognize the gift of our spiritual inheritance and for courage and perseverance to turn to God’s word each day we join the church in humble prayer saying, “Speak to me, Lord.”
What place does God’s word have in my daily life? How do I make room for God’s word every day?
Sullivan is secretary for Catholic education of the Archdiocese of Washington.