33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

As we approach the end of the church year, we reflect on the end of all things. As Christians, we do not fear the end. Instead, we are faithful to the work of establishing God’s Kingdom.

  • To the point: Catastrophes, disasters, wars, insurrections, etc., are not signs of the end of the world but of how far we actually are from the end. We hasten the end not by being fearful of these events, but by being faithful to Jesus’ work of establishing God’s kingdom. Preaching, teaching, and living in Jesus’ name is the one sure way of discipleship that hastens Jesus’ Second Coming and secures for us eternal life.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 21:5-19) to the first reading: The First Reading describes the day when evil will be destroyed and those who fear God will walk in the light of God’s justice. On this day the end will come because God’s purpose will have been accomplished.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: There are billboards and doomsday criers who point to catastrophes and evil as signs of the end times. What happens when we change our perspective and realize that the end times will be upon us only when goodness and justice reigns?

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Luke 21: 5-19)

It will lead to your giving testimony.

Lord, in fall the maple trees give witness to you,
and geese fly a perfect V. And how do we ourselves testify?
At the end of the day let the work of our hands speak always of you. 
Whether we work, eat, play, talk or take time with one another,
let these whisper of life’s fullness and of your goodness.
When we love one another, let the world know
you are here in our midst loving us first.
When our days are done, let our whole life,
all that has been, be witness to your name.

The First Reading

(Malachi 3: 19-20a)

But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Father, let us bask in the healing rays of your sun.
Fill us with wonder each time we hear your name.

The Second Reading

(2 Thessalonians 3: 7-12)

In toil and drudgery, night and day we worked.
We wanted to present ourselves as a model for you.

Who would Paul have been in our time?
A knowing politician, passing bills that open borders,
that erase debts in Third World countries?
An apostle bringing Christ to the oppressed and poor?
A Samaritan giving shelter to the homeless?
Food for the hungry? And school for those who can’t read?
Lord, you give us Paul as our model.
Please give us love like his, filled with energy and fire.

Copyright © 2019, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection