33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Call to worship

As the fig tree gives signs of growth from death, so should we know that the darkening of days means that we will find new life in Jesus. Disciples of Jesus face the end times with faith and with hope, not with fear.

  • To the point: “Learn a lesson from the fig tree.” What are we to learn? That the annual greening of the fig tree is a harbinger of new life arising out of seeming deadness. That the annual gospel prediction of apocalyptic destruction is a harbinger that Jesus “is near.” Indeed Jesus’ promise that he will be near at the end times is a promise being fulfilled now. Life arising from death has already happened to Jesus. It is already happening in us. 
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 13: 24-32) to the first reading: Like the gospel, the first reading apocalyptically describes calamity and distress. But its stronger point is the promise that those “who lead the many to justice” will “live forever.” The first reading provides the ethical injunction— a way to live— that assures new life will arise from seeming deadness.
  • Connecting the Gospel to our experience: Popular religious culture is fascinated by the end times with their cataclysms and their unsurpassed distress.” But what the end times more truly reveal is Christ’s victory and our share in his glory.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 13:24-32)

Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.

Cars will rust and fall apart. Condos crumble to the ground.
Even the football teams will eternally fail.
Everything will go: investments, worries,
honors, pains, until that time.
Let us listen to each other and to the pain in all the world.
Please fill us with your Word, which will never pass away
and let us take you to everyone till the end of time.
You are love and love remains.

The First Reading

(Daniel 12:1-3)

“But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament.”

Look up at the splendid universe,
light years away from the dimness of our Earth.
The wise are shining like the stars
giving out points of light, showing the way.
How did they attain such heights?
By offering a cup of water, or their house,
or their food, or anything they could find.
They gave away their time, their money their
lives; they never counted the cost.
They took every gift they had
and also what they hadn’t, and spent a lifetime
teaching others how to use what is given.
Lord, let these stars guide us.

The Second Reading

(Hebrews 10:11-14, 18)

“Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer offering for sin.”

The priests in ancient times did the same rituals,
again and again. They did what they could to destroy sin.
O Jesus, just that one time you offered perfect sacrifice:
the fight fought, the battle won.
Sure, redemption was ours, free for the taking.
It was then, is now and will be through all ages.
Thank you, Lord, for your love for us.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for refection