33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - B
We are now at the end of the liturgical calendar of the Church, hence almost at the end of Ordinary Time in the liturgical season. Next Sunday which is the last Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King. This is the reason why the readings are taken from the apocalyptic literature which features about the destruction of the world to signal the end of time. Jesus the universal King will reign at the end. The symbols like cosmic catastrophes used in the apocalyptic literature should not be taken literally. Vatican II calls them “signs of the times” that we need to read and interpret under the guidance of the Church.
In any form of giving birth, there is a breaking of the old to give way to something new. Life in different forms experiences birthing all the time, a continuous flux of life-processes resulting in the advances of many life forms. The natural calamities can be explained by the geological movements of the earth resulting in the many changes of land formations or weather conditions. Man-made catastrophes are the result of our politics, greed, irresponsibility and improper use of our resources. Either man-made or natural, the world around us is not just changing all the time but also will come to an end just like any other thing. This inevitable reality should not frighten us but instead inspire us to see our life moving forward unto our final destination. We don’t dwell in fear about the end of the world but rather in hope! Until we become a person of faith, our existence is just like a tourist who simply enjoys sightseeing and will never reach his destination. As a pilgrim, being a member of the Pilgrim Church, Vatican II reminds us “…men and women are performing their activities in a way which appropriately benefits society. They can justly consider that by their labor they are unfolding the Creator’s work….” (Gaudium et Spes #34). Each one has a mission to fulfill, that’s why we are here. Big or small, our contribution to the world is our own way of re-creating this world towards a better place not just for us and our loved ones but for generations yet to come. Through the works of our hands, God continues to re-create creation until it finds its culmination in the birthing of the new heaven and a new earth.
The person that I am today is the result of my own and collective effort of other people and so I have the responsibility to give back whatever good I have received in my lifetime to the world. As pilgrims we owe the world every bit of goodness before we reach the final destination of our pilgrimage….