November 14, 2021
by Scott McClure
Creighton University - Retired
click here for photo and information about the writer

Sunday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 158

Daniel 12:1-3
Psalm 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Mark 13:24-32

Praying Ordinary Time

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Today’s readings cover some heavy subject matter. Our first reading recounts Daniel’s hearing from God about times to come when Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus speaks of tribulation when the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. The drama spoken of in these readings is, quite literally, earth-shattering.

Last Sunday’s gospel reading was also from Mark. At Mass, the pastor of our parish reminded us all with emphasis that Mark’s gospel always brings us back to the cross, always. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact our readings today, with all their talk of tribulation, are wrapped in mercy. Mercy abounds in the gospels and is made visible in Christ crucified. Truly, today’s psalm seems to anticipate this event of mercy in Jesus on the cross with its discussion of inheritance. While inheritance might bring any number of connotations, the connotation here is joy: You are my inheritance, O Lord! Jesus’ total sacrifice – his complete gift of self and continual gift through the celebration of the Mass – has changed everything.

Can we feel this sense of joy in the inheritance God makes available to us? If not, how can we come to know it or, if we’ve lost it, recapture it? As tempting as it is to try and close this reflection with a neat and tidy answer, sometimes it is a question rather than an answer that we need to sit with and pray with. I pray we may all come to know this joy through personal encounter with Jesus in his infinite love. 

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