33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr.  Isaac A. Mensah

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr.  Isaac A. Mensah

First Reading: Daniel 12:1-3
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11
Second Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel: Mark 13:24-32

Theme- Apocalypto: The End is near


As we inch to the end of the liturgical year, our readings draw our attention to the last days and the end of times.

Explanation of the text

Everything has a beginning and an end, and all civilizations have operated like that”. The Greek word (ἀποκαλύπτω, apokaluptō) is in fact a verb meaning “I uncover”, “disclose”, or “reveal”. Today both our first reading and the Gospel make use of apocalyptic literature which is a style of literary genre that makes use of symbols and foretells supernaturally inspired cataclysmic events that will transpire at the end of time.

Apocalyptic is sometimes called the “literature of the dispossessed.” It usually arises among (at least relatively) oppressed or alienated people who have little chance of fighting back against the powerful and of gaining political, military and economic power. The book of Daniel originated in such a Jewish group circa 165 B.C.E. The Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes, with the apparent support of some Jewish leaders in Jerusalem tried to destroy nay deprive the Jews of their ancestral Temple, Law and the Land. Some pious Jews at the time viewed these actions as calamitous and the group in which the book of Daniel originated looked to the God of Israel as their only source of hope. Their belief was based on the conviction that the God of Israel would fulfil the promises made to His people, and eventually vindicate the righteous and punish the wicked.

In the Markan apocalypse, Jesus acts as the revealer of the future and of the heavenly realm. The attention to the two Biblical apocalypses ( The books of Daniel and Revelation) helps to illumine many features of Mark 13. The “Little Apocalypse” addresses Christians who have suffered and can expect to suffer more for their faith. The short-term answer to their question about why they suffer is that it is because of their fidelity to Jesus and his message of God’s kingdom. The long-term answer is that their suffering is part of God’s unfolding plan- the climax of which is to be the Revelation of the glorious Son of Man ( Jesus) and the vindication of God’s elect ( those Christians who have remained faithful). Again the extermination and the final destruction of evil is captured in our second reading when it says “now he waits untill his enemies are made his footstool” ( Heb 10:13).

We can summarize as follows:

1. Everything that has a beginning will surely has an end.

2. Suffering is part and parcel of life and it is only temporary.

3. Evil will finally be destroyed.

4. We should be watchful while remaining faithful

5. The elect nay those who remain faithful will be vindicated and enjoy eternal bliss.



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