Fifth World Day of the Poor
33rd Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Sunday 14th November 2021
Dan. 12:1-3; Ps. 15:5,8,9-10,11;
Heb. 10:11-14,18; Mk. 13:24-32 (Ps. Wk. I)
Many people lose heart in the face of so much evil, injustice and negativity. Their efforts to be faithful and to do good may seem useless, naïve, and even silly. Why not just give in and go along with the world? But Daniel encourages those under persecution by assuring them that their goodness and fidelity are important to God. When everything is finished, the violent, greedy, and selfish people are the losers, even if they have been wealthy and powerful. The just and faithful will shine like stars in the heavens. Faced with those options, there is only one choice we can make. We will never be put to shame for walking the path of God.
The ‘end’ is portrayed in very dramatic terms in Mark – angels, clouds, the Son of Man, and a final judgement. Once again, the ‘elect’ – those special to God – whom the angels gather together. The real danger here is that we might think of ourselves as better than others and be tempted to look down on ‘sinners’ (perhaps forgetting our own sins!) rather than responding with the compassion of God. We should indeed hope that all people are gathered together and no one be left behind. After all, Christ sacrificed himself once and for all for our sins. We all rely on the mercy of God, and our salvation is the gracious gift of a loving God rather than something we earn. When and how everything ends should not concern us, and it is not important. We live each day as if it were our last – filled with gratitude to God and love towards others.
Lord, help me to be faithful.