Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 18, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Dn 12:1-3 / Ps 16 / Heb 10:11-14, 18 / Mk 13:24-32
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
According to the Desert Sun, a part of the USA Today network, a record 30.6 million people are flying for Thanksgiving this year. That’s almost four times the total population of Virginia. It tells us that, no matter how busy we are or how far we are from each other geographically, we still find time to have a family reunion on Thanksgiving Day or other times of the year. Now I, for one, always look forward to getting together with my relatives and talking about the good old days. Family reunions for most of us are happy occasions.
The liturgical readings for today, which is already the second to the last Sunday of the liturgical year, remind us of the End Times, when there will be a reunion of all the members of God’s family, living and dead. When His disciples asked Him when the End Times would occur, the Lord Jesus responded, “No one knows.” Our job as God’s children is not to know the exact date and time, but to be prepared for it.
We do this by putting into practice the teachings of the sacred scriptures 24/7. If we are always prepared, we will not be worried about the Final Judgment, but we will be looking forward to our eternal family reunion that will give us the kind of joy which no one can take away from us.
In the gospel that we have just heard, the Lord Jesus told His disciples to learn a lesson from the fig tree. To the Israelites, the fig tree was a symbol of hope and of God’s blessings.
As God’s children, the end of the world or the end of our lives is not something that we are afraid of. If we live a life of love, like St. Francis, we may even consider death as a sister or brother who will take us to our eternal dwelling where we will once again see the members of our families who have gone before us. And this joyful reunion will not only last for a day or a few days, like at Thanksgiving, but for all eternity.