33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - C
We have now come towards the end of the journey in the Ordinary Time of the liturgical calendar of the Church. Next Sunday being the last is the Solemnity of Christ the King. Like any other journey, it has come to an end to give way to a new season which is Advent. Life is cyclic!
Our gospel this Sunday belongs to a genre in biblical literature which what we call apocalyptic literature. It is a unique body of work which describes in symbols the things to come at the end of time. Because they are symbolic, they should not be interpreted in the literal sense. One thing is sure though, that is, the world will come to an end like any other created realities.
The temple in Jerusalem was considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world during the time of Jesus. It was predicted by Jesus that one day it would be put into complete ruins. When he was asked the time of of its occurrence, Jesus did not say 'when' but rather he pointed out the signs that would accompany its fulfilment: false prophets, wars, insurrections, earthquakes, famines, plagues and other cosmic happenings. There would be very harsh persecutions!
Because the Church brings us through a journey, it makes us realise that the end is inevitable. The signs mentioned are those that would accompany the end. They are more important than knowing the exact time of the end. They are not only pointing to the coming of the end of time but also act as warnings that the end is already at hand.
If the signs like wars, earthquakes, super typhoons and persecutions are already here with us therefore the end of time is also around the corner. It means that our life and all other realities that we experience are telling us an important lesson: impermanence! Nothing will last! Everything hangs on in a borrowed time! The most important thing is not yesterday nor tomorrow but today that's why we call it present. It is a precious gift that is lent to us by God!
To live life to the fullest by doing good to others is the best way to persevere despite the hard times ahead of us. To entrust ourselves to God, knowing that nothing will harm us despite the overwhelming darkness and pains that continue to confront us, is itself the gift of faith! To know that God is in charge of our life is itself a sweet victory!