Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 15, 2015 Cycle B
by Rev. Jose Maria Cortes, F.S.C.E.

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In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mk 13:31).

Today’s readings talk about the end of the world.

The reason why the liturgy reminds us that our world will have an end is not to scare or depress us but to prompt us to live our lives in a truer way.

One time, Steve Jobs declared: “When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

It is wise to recognize that the realty we live in is ephemeral and not definitive. It helps us to separate what is essential from what is relative.

We are made for the infinite. What is transient is not enough for us. We desire more than that. We long for what is permanent. The sadness that we feel caused by the passage of time is a sign that we are made for the eternal.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

We need to find what lasts forever in what passes. We need to seek what is eternal in what is ephemeral. The “words that will not pass away” refer to Jesus’ presence.

The second reading talks about offering. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews says: “For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated” (Heb 10:14). Jesus’ offering of himself made things perfect, which means that he connected everything with the mystery of God. With his Incarnation and Redemption, the transient became an open door to the permanent.

There is a morning prayer that says: “I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day.” Every day we are called to offer God what our day is going to be. When we offer passing things, we connect them with eternity.

To offer means to recognize Christ as the center and the meaning of our lives, that “by him all things consist” (Col 1:17). He is the consistency of everything. He holds all that exists.

If we offer everything to him, we shall see what is transient in a different and new way, no longer only as things that pass but as a path to what endures forever. This means that we do not lose what we offer to Christ. Everything passes; only what is connected to Christ stays forever. 

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Let us ask for the grace of being able to connect what passes to what remains forever.

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