33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Daniel 12:1-3 II:
24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27 And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.
29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away before all these things take place.
31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
32 "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
- Chapter 13 contains the farewell teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, which are appropriate for a Sunday near the end of the liturgical year.
- The structure of the passage makes the message clear. There are two main parts. In each part, a main message is surrounded by similar ideas.
- In part one, the main idea in v. 26, "the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory" is proclaimed by the whole universe (represented by the sun, moon, stars, and heavens in v. 24-25, and four winds, ends the earth and sky in v. 27). Jesus uses these figures to signify the whole universe, not to make specific predictions about single events.
- In part two, the main idea--be watchful because no one knows the day--is surrounded by two parables. The first parable is that of the fig tree in v.28. The second parable is after this passage, from v. 33 to verse 37, the end of the chapter.
- The last teaching in Mark is different from but congruent with the farewell discourses in the other three Gospels (John 14-17: be united in love; Mt 28:16-20, Lk 24:36-49 and Act 1:6-11: spread the Good News). The way to prepare for the glorious return of Jesus is to spread the Gospel which leads to unity in love.
One Main Point
Jesus will come again in full glory, proclaimed by the whole universe. No one knows when that will happen, so be watchful.
- Am I watchful and hopeful for the glorious coming of Jesus? How do I do that?
- What would be the opposite of being watchful and hopeful? Am I doing that, too?
- Does my preparation for Jesus' final coming include spreading the Gospel and lead to unity in love?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community