33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Sunday 18th November 2018)
To read the Gospel of the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, please click here
Living in Hope – (Mark 13:24-32)
Spe salvi (“in hope we were saved”) is a teaching of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, his second encyclical. He looks at the mystery of hope, how it shapes human existence, gives meaning and inspiration for living.
Hope is also a matter for world history. We hope for the coming of Christ since he is the just judge, the righteous king, the wise counselor, who weighs everything in the balance. When we hope for his coming we hope for ourselves. Humanity is not defined by its shallowness, by the oppression of the weak by the strong, wars or injustice. It has a crowning moment when injustices are righted, when the balance is redressed, when everything comes up in a divine light to its just deserts.
The pope writes, “There is justice. There is an undoing of past suffering, a reparation that sets things right. For this reason faith in the Last Judgment is first and foremost hope – the need for which was made abundantly clear in the upheavals of recent centuries….The purely human need for a fulfillment that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing that man was made for eternity; but only in connection with the impossibility that the injustice of history should be the final word does the necessity for Christ’s return and for new life become fully convincing (Spe salvi § 43)”
We are living in hope in today’s Gospel “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory”. If we look upon this from the perspective of hope we will see its meaning more clearly. Christ comes because simply without him history cannot end in a glorious way. He has already stamped on our beings this mystery of hope. It is a hope that sustains us – even a definitive hope – that he will come and gather his elect from the four corners of the world.
It is a hope which gives confidence to the disciples of Christ: history is not devoid of meaning, nor are our lives, and every hair of our head, every fallen sparrow, every just voice which decries injustice will be heard in that moment, as it is every moment of our lives by the living God.
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