33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
‘My words will endure forever’
Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good.
As the Church’s year draws to a close, the Gospel and First Reading in particular are full of vivid imagery of the ‘End Times’. These texts were written to offer solace and encouragement to people facing temporal and spiritual crisis in very different times and circumstances.
In the First Reading, we listen to the prophet Daniel concluding the last of his four apocalyptic visions. He offers hope to the Jewish people, who are facing persecution from a foreign king determined to stamp out their faith.
The Gospel sees Jesus preparing his disciples for the troubles they will soon witness. The Evangelist is also giving a message of hope to the early church as it faces persecution from the Emperor Nero. We are reminded always to be mindful of the signs of the times; but rather than being caught up in fruitless anxiety over ’End Times’ and the passing nature of life, we can take hope that the Word of God will endure forever.
The Psalm is a prayer full of confidence that God will offer healing and deliverance from death. Each verse is a prayer full of hope in God’s saving love.
In the concluding passages from the letter to the Hebrews (Second Reading), the Risen Christ is compared to the priests of the Old Covenant. There is no longer a need for constant animal sacrifices to atone for sin. Christ has conquered sin once and for all.
Christ is the fulfilment of God’s promise of love. His word will always be with us. Let us pray for the grace to be drawn deeper into the wonder of that love so that our lives can be a message of hope to our times.