33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Readings at Mass (See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-165) 8-)
Liturgical Colour: Green.
First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3
Some will wake to everlasting life, some to shame and disgrace
‘At that time Michael will stand up, the great prince who mounts guard over your people. There is going to be a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence. When that time comes, your own people will be spared, all those whose names are found written in the Book. Of those who lie sleeping in the dust of the earth many will awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting disgrace. The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars for all eternity.’
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15(16):5,8-11
Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay.
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14,18
When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin-offerings
All the priests stand at their duties every day, offering over and over again the same sacrifices which are quite incapable of taking sins away. He, on the other hand, has offered one single sacrifice for sins, and then taken his place forever, at the right hand of God, where he is now waiting until his enemies are made into a footstool for him. By virtue of that one single offering, he has achieved the eternal perfection of all whom he is sanctifying. When all sins have been forgiven, there can be no more sin offerings.
Matthew 24:42 44
Stay awake and stand ready,
because you do not know the hour
when the Son of Man is coming.
Stay awake, praying at all times
for the strength to stand with confidence
before the Son of Man.
Gospel: Mark 13:24-32
The stars will fall from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In those days, after the time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.
‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates. I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.’
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
This is the way to consider human events that the Lord teaches believers. We have heard a prophecy from the Book of Daniel, received by the prophet himself from the mouth of a heavenly messenger sent to "show [him] the truth" (Daniel 11:2) about historical events. This prophecy tells of anguish and salvation for the people: how can we fail to recognize it as a prediction of the paschal mystery, the unique focus of history and a key to its authentic interpretation?
The Church prepares for and takes every step of her earthly pilgrimage in the light of the paschal mystery. And today she is celebrating the solemn beginning of an exceptional time of reflection and exchange on the mission she is called to carry out on the American continent. God’s word offers her the correct faith vision for reading, as the angel tells Daniel, "what is inscribed in the book of truth" (Daniel 10:21). With this outlook the Church pauses to consider the road travelled thus far, in order to press onward to the new millennium with renewed missionary zeal.
"Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming".
This exhortation that we have just heard in the Gospel acclamation refers to the spiritual atmosphere we are experiencing as the liturgical year draws to a close. It is an atmosphere interwoven with eschatological themes, highlighted in particular by the passage from St Mark's Gospel in which Christ stresses the transitory nature of heaven and earth: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mark 13:31).
The form of this world is passing away, but the Word of God will never pass away. How eloquent this comparison is! God does not pass away and neither will anything that comes from him. Christ’s sacrifice never passes away, as we read today in the Letter to the Hebrews: Jesus "offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins" (10:12); and: "for by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (10:14).
Throughout this Synod Assembly we will pause to reflect on the past, but especially on the present moment of the American continent. We will attempt to identify in each of its regions the signs of Christ's saving presence, of his Word and of his sacrifice, so that we may revive our energies for the service of conversion and evangelization.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 16 November 1997)
A pressing invitation to meditate on this reality comes to us today from the Church in Italy, on the occasion of the National Migration Day, whose theme is: "With Christ, for a world without borders". This year, which is also the European year against racism, everyone is committed to a reconciled humanity, with respect for differences and openness to mutual knowledge.
I express my appreciation and encouragement for the many initiatives of solidarity with migrants and refugees, especially with all those — and unfortunately they are many — who are in difficult or precarious situations. I entrust this day’s intentions to the intercession of John Baptist Scalabrini, Bishop and Father of migrants, whom I proclaimed blessed last Sunday.
May Mary strengthen by her intercession the commitments that will result from this National Migration Day and from the Synod Assembly for America.
My thoughts turn particularly to the American continent, strewn with shrines where the People of God venerate the Blessed Virgin. May the heavenly Queen of America obtain an abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit to enlighten the discernment and guide the work and decisions of the Synod.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 16 November 1997)
JUBILEE OF THE ARMED FORCES AND THE POLICE
(see our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-165) 8-)
JUBILEE OF THE ARMED FORCES AND THE POLICE
At the end of this Jubilee celebration, dear Members of the Armed Forces and the Police, my thoughts turn in particular to your relatives.
In the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, an account is given of St Peter's visit to the centurion Cornelius, "a devout man who feared God with all his household" (Acts 10: 2). He accepted the proclamation of Christ's Gospel by Peter, to whom he gave hospitality for several days, and received Baptism together with his family members. Thus the first pagans to be baptized by Peter were members of a soldier's family. It is significant to remember this today, in the context of your Jubilee.
It is not easy to be a soldier's family, because even the hardships of his mission must be shared. Yet the family is the principal support of each one of you, committed to defending peace and life. One defends what one loves and where does one learn to love peace and life if not in the family? Therefore, dear families, feel fully involved in this mission and collaborate in safeguarding justice and peace.
The work and sacrifice of all of you help to ensure the peace and security of individuals and societies. I pray that you yourselves will always be kept safe as you fulfil your professional duties, and that the divine gifts of wisdom and strength will ever accompany you in the service of your own countries and of your fellow men and women. Upon you and your families, I invoke the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 19 November 2000)
In this context, I renew my firm condemnation of every terrorist act perpetrated recently in the Holy Land. At the same time I must point out that the dynamism of peace seems, unfortunately, to have been halted. Many see the building of a wall between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples as yet another obstacle on the path to peaceful coexistence. Indeed, the Holy Land does not need walls, but bridges! Without the reconciliation of souls, there can be no peace.
Let us entrust the peoples in that part of the world to the God of mercy and peace, though the intercession of Mary Most Holy. May those responsible have the courage to resume dialogue and negotiations and thereby unblock the road to a Middle East reconciled in justice and in peace.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 16 November 2003)
Why "enclose oneself" for ever between the walls of a monastery and thereby deprive others of the contribution of one's own skills and experience? How effective can the prayer of these cloistered Religious be for the solution of all the practical problems that continue to afflict humanity?
Yet even today, often to the surprise of their friends and acquaintances, many people in fact frequently give up promising professional careers to embrace the austere rule of a cloistered monastery. What impels them to take such a demanding step other than the realization, as the Gospel teaches, that the Kingdom of heaven is "a treasure" for which it is truly worth giving up everything (cf. Matthew 13: 44)?
Indeed, these brothers and sisters of ours bear a silent witness to the fact that in the midst of the sometimes frenetic pace of daily events, the one support that never topples is God, the indestructible rock of faithfulness and love. "Everything passes, God never changes", the great spiritual master Teresa of Avila wrote in one of her famous texts.
And in the face of the widespread need to get away from the daily routine of sprawling urban areas in search of places conducive to silence and meditation, monasteries of contemplative life offer themselves as "oases" in which human beings, pilgrims on earth, can draw more easily from the wellsprings of the Spirit and quench their thirst along the way.
Thus, these apparently useless places are on the contrary indispensable, like the green "lungs" of a city: they do everyone good, even those who do not visit them and may not even know of their existence.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 19 November 2006)
This year, we have been accompanied along our itinerary through the Sunday biblical Readings by St Mark's Gospel, which today presents to us part of Jesus' discourse on the end of times. In this discourse is a phrase whose terse clarity is striking: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mark 13: 31). Let us pause a moment to reflect on this prophecy of Christ.
The expression "Heaven and earth" recurs frequently in the Bible in reference to the whole universe, the entire cosmos. Jesus declares that all this is destined to "pass away"; not only the earth but also Heaven, which here is meant in a purely cosmic sense and not as synonymous with God. Sacred Scripture knows no ambiguity: all Creation is marked by finitude, including the elements divinized by ancient mythologies; there is no confusion between Creation and the Creator but rather a decided difference. With this clear distinction Jesus says that his words "will not pass away", that is to say they are part of God and therefore eternal. Even if they were spoken in the concreteness of his earthly existence, they are prophetic words par excellence, as Jesus affirms elsewhere, addressing the heavenly Father: "I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me" (John 17: 8). In a well-known parable Christ compares himself to the sower and explains that the seed is the word (cf. Mk 4: 14); those who hear it, accept it and bear fruit (cf. Mark 4: 20) take part in the Kingdom of God, that is, they live under his lordship. They remain in the world, but are no longer of the world. They bear within them a seed of eternity a principle of transformation that is already manifest now in a good life, enlivened by charity, and that in the end will produce the resurrection of the flesh. This is the power of Christ's word.
Dear friends, the Virgin Mary is the living sign of this truth. Her heart was "good soil" that received with complete willingness the Word of God, so that her whole life, transformed according to the image of the Son, was introduced into eternity, body and soul, in anticipation of the eternal vocation of every human being. Let us now make our own in prayer her response to the Angel: "Let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1: 38), so that in following Christ on the way of the Cross we too may be able to attain the glory of the Resurrection.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 15 November 2009)
St Mark’s version of a part of Jesus’ discourse on the end times is proclaimed on this penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year (cf. Mark 13:24-32). This discourse is also found in Matthew and Luke, with some variations, and is probably the most difficult Gospel text. This difficulty stems from both its content and its language: in fact, it speaks of a future that exceeds our own categories and for this reason Jesus uses images and words taken from the Old Testament; but above all he introduces a new centre, which is he himself, the mystery of his Person and of his death and Resurrection.
Today’s passage also opens with certain cosmic images that are apocalyptic in character: “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (vv. 24-25); but this element is relativized by what follows: “then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (v. 26). The “Son of man” is Jesus himself who links the present and the future; the ancient words of the prophets have finally found a centre in the Person of the Nazarene Messiah: he is the True Event which remains the firm and enduring point in the midst of the world’s upheavals.
Other words in today’s Gospel confirm this. Jesus says: “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (v. 31) Indeed we know that in the Bible the word of God is at the origin of the Creation: all the creatures, starting with the cosmic elements — sun, moon, the firmament — obey the word of God, they exist since they have been “called into being” by it. This creative force of the divine word is concentrated in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, and also passes through his human words, which are the true “firmament” that directs the thought and journey of man on earth.
For this reason Jesus does not describe the end of the world and when he uses apocalyptic images, he does not act as a “seer”. On the contrary, he wishes to prevent his disciples in every epoch from being curious about dates and predictions; he wants instead to provide them with a key to a profound, essential interpretation and, above all, to point out to them the right way on which to walk, today and in the future, to enter eternal life.
Everything passes away, the Lord reminds us, but the word of God does not change and before it each one of us is responsible for his or her own behaviour. We are judged on this basis.
Dear friends, in our day too there is no lack of natural disasters nor, unfortunately, of war and violence. Today too we need a permanent foundation for our life and our hope, especially because of the relativism in which we are immersed. May the Virgin Mary help us to accept this centre in the Person of Christ and in his word.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 18 November 2012)
The Gospel of this penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year offers us part of Jesus’ discourse regarding the last events of human history, oriented toward the complete fulfillment of the reign of God (cf. Mark 13:24-32). It is the talk that Jesus gave in Jerusalem before his last Passover. It has certain apocalyptic elements, such as wars, famine, cosmic catastrophes: “The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken” (vv. 24-25). However, these segments are not the essential part of the message. The core around which Jesus’ words turn is he himself, the mystery of his person, and of his death and resurrection, and his return at the end of time.
Our final goal is the encounter with the Risen Lord. I would like to ask how many of you think about this. “There will be a day in which I meet the Lord face to face”. And this is our goal: the encounter. We do not await a time or a place, but we are going to encounter a person: Jesus. Thus the problem is not “when” these premonitory signs of the last days will occur, but rather our being prepared. Neither is it about knowing “how” these things will happen, but instead “how” we have to act today, in awaiting these things. We are called to live the present, building our future with serenity and trust in God. The parable of the fig tree that sprouts, as a sign of the approaching summer (cf. vv. 28-29), teaches that the perspective of the end doesn’t distract us from the present life, but rather brings us to look at our current days with an outlook of hope. This virtue of hope that is so hard to live. The smallest but strongest of the virtues. And our hope has a face: the face of the Risen Lord, who comes “with great power and glory” (v. 26), which will manifest his love, crucified and transfigured in the Resurrection. The triumph of Jesus at the end of time will be the triumph of the Cross, the demonstration that the sacrifice of oneself for love of neighbour, in imitation of Christ, is the only victorious power, the only stable point in the midst of the upheavals and tragedies of the world.
The Lord Jesus is not only the destination of our earthly pilgrimage, but also a constant presence in our lives; he is also beside us, he always accompanies. That’s why, when we speak of the future and project ourselves toward it, it is always in order to lead us back to the present. He counters the false prophets, the fortune-tellers who predict that the end of the world is near; he sets himself against fatalism. He is at our side; he walks with us; he loves us. He wants to remove from his disciples of every age the curiosity about dates, predictions, horoscopes, and focus their attention on the today of history. I would like to ask you — don’t answer out loud, each one answer to himself — how many of you read your horoscope every day? Each one answer, and when you feel like reading your horoscope, look to Jesus who is with you. This is better and will be better for you. This presence of Jesus calls us to the anticipation and vigilance that exclude both impatience and lethargy, both the escaping to the future and the becoming prisoners of the current moment and of worldliness.
In our days, too, there is no lack of natural and moral disasters, nor of adversities and difficulties of every kind. Everything passes, the Lord reminds us; he alone, his Word remains as the light that guides and encourages our steps. He always forgives us because he is at our side. We need only look at him and he changes our hearts. May the Virgin Mary help us to trust in Jesus, the firm foundation of our life, and to persevere with joy in his love.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 15 November 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
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Compiled on 18 November 2018